• In this review, we examined the role of phonological awareness in literacy development for Spanish-speaking students. There appears to be a close relationship between Spanish-language phonological awareness and literacy development. In particular, Spanish phonological awareness appears to develop in stages. Not only is the development of phonemic awareness skills probably supported by reading instruction, but it likely contributes to reading development as well. Sensitivity to syllables in Spanish may be particularly important for later reading success, and the ability to segment words into their phonemes may play a critical role in reading acquisition. Training students in spelling, blending, and segmenting syllables and phonemes may be especially valuable because these skills are closely related to those which students use when actually reading and writing words. Finally, there is evidence of cross-language transfer of phonological awareness skills between Spanish and English. Suggestions for Spanish phonological awareness instruction are given, and an agenda for further research is included. Based on this review, many different experimental procedures have been used to evaluate students' Spanish-language phonological awareness, but there is a need for measures that are psychometrically sound and that have documented validity and reliability to assess phonological awareness in Spanish. In addition, although training in Spanish phonemic awareness seems to have a positive effect on the development of spelling ability, we found little direct evidence that this type of training increases Spanish reading performance. Further research in this area is needed. 2000 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • Reading Psychology

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Carolyn A. Denton, J.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Carolyn A. Denton, Jan E Hasbrouck

publication date

  • January 2000