Effects of a computer based beginning reading program on young children

Tara Watson, Kerry Hempenstall


This study was an evaluation of a parent delivered, computer based beginning reading program with a group of 15 Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. Completing the Funnix program at home through a CD copy was expected to produce educationally and statistically significant improvements in phonemic awareness, letter-sound fluency, non-word decoding skills, and oral reading fluency, when compared to the outcomes for a similar group of 16 students in a wait list comparison group. Data were analysed using univariate analyses of covariance incorporating effect sizes. Statistically significant treatment effects were found for Kindergarten students in the intervention group on letter-sound fluency, oral reading fluency, non-word decoding, and phonemic awareness skills. Grade 1 students in the intervention group demonstrated significant improvement over time on letter-sound fluency, letter-name knowledge, non-word decoding and oral reading fluency; however, these improvements were not significantly greater than those for the Grade 1 comparison group. It was concluded that Kindergarten students gained the most benefits, and that at risk students may represent a fruitful target audience.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1208

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