Renata Eccles

Lecturer and speech-language therapist - University of Pretoria: Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Renata Eccles

Lecturer and speech-language therapist - University of Pretoria: Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Biography

Mrs. Eccles is a doctoral student and lecturer at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria. She has presented her research at symposiums and conferences in Europe and Africa. Her research interests include innovative responses to developmental and academic challenges faced by young children in lower-to-middle income countries (LMIC).

“Effect of music instruction on phonological awareness and early literacy skills of five- to seven-year-old children”

The study evaluated the effect of varying durations of music instruction exposure, over a single academic year, on PA and early literacy of young children (five to seven years old). More music instruction did not result in a significant transfer effect on PA and early literacy in young children within a single academic year.

Introduction
Phonological awareness (PA) requires the complex integration of language, speech and auditory processing abilities, such as speech-in-noise (SiN) discrimination. Music instruction increases the auditory system’s ability to overcome the impact of background noise. Possible associations between auditory discrimination, music abilities and PA exist but are not yet fully defined. This research therefore aimed to determine and describe the possible associations between PA abilities and pitch, rhythm- and SiN discrimination in young children.
Method
The pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination and PA abilities of 41 participants between the ages of five- and seven-years old were evaluated. The Spearman rank correlation was used to identify associations between variables and linear regression analysis was used to identify possible predictors for PA.

Results
No significant correlations were identified between pitch and rhythm discrimination and any SiN discrimination results. Significant positive correlations of medium strength were identified between PA subtests and music discrimination variables. Pitch discrimination was the music ability most often associated with PA and was a significant predictive variable for three of the seven PA subtests. Significant negative correlations of medium strength were also identified between PA subtests and SiN discrimination variables. SiN discrimination values were predictive for five of the seven PA subtests. The combination of pitch and diotic SiN discrimination was the best fitting model identified and was a predictor of phoneme-grapheme correspondence (PGC) (p < .0001, R = 0.4213). Conclusion Significant associations were identified between PA and less linguistically loaded measures of pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination. Additionally, pitch and diotic discrimination predicted PGC, identified as the single best predictor of later literacy abilities. The application of pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination measure as possible screeners for PA difficulties or components of PA remediation programs should be evaluated in future research. Associations between phonological awareness and pitch, rhythm- and speech-in-noise discrimination in young children

This research aimed to determine if there are associations between phonological awareness abilities and pitch, rhythm- and SiN discrimination in children aged five- to seven-years old. Significant associations were identified between PA subtests and less linguistically loaded measures of pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination. Pitch and diotic SiN discrimination predicted phoneme-grapheme correspondence, a strong predictor of later literacy abilities.

Introduction
Phonological awareness (PA) requires the complex integration of language, speech and auditory processing abilities, such as speech-in-noise (SiN) discrimination. Music instruction increases the auditory system’s ability to overcome the impact of background noise. Possible associations between auditory discrimination, music abilities and PA exist but are not yet fully defined. This research therefore aimed to determine and describe the possible associations between PA abilities and pitch, rhythm- and SiN discrimination in young children.
Method
The pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination and PA abilities of 41 participants between the ages of five- and seven-years old were evaluated. The Spearman rank correlation was used to identify associations between variables and linear regression analysis was used to identify possible predictors for PA.

Results
No significant correlations were identified between pitch and rhythm discrimination and any SiN discrimination results. Significant positive correlations of medium strength were identified between PA subtests and music discrimination variables. Pitch discrimination was the music ability most often associated with PA and was a significant predictive variable for three of the seven PA subtests. Significant negative correlations of medium strength were also identified between PA subtests and SiN discrimination variables. SiN discrimination values were predictive for five of the seven PA subtests. The combination of pitch and diotic SiN discrimination was the best fitting model identified and was a predictor of phoneme-grapheme correspondence (PGC) (p < .0001, R = 0.4213). Conclusion Significant associations were identified between PA and less linguistically loaded measures of pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination. Additionally, pitch and diotic discrimination predicted PGC, identified as the single best predictor of later literacy abilities. The application of pitch, rhythm and SiN discrimination measure as possible screeners for PA difficulties or components of PA remediation programs should be evaluated in future research.

All sessions by Renata Eccles