Small versus large unit theories of reading acquisition

Phhilip H. K. Seymour, Lynne G. Duncan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Accounts of the early stage of reading acquisition distinguish between a small unit approach, in which the learning of letters and their correspondence with phonemes is emphasised, and a large unit approach in which a naturally developing awareness of rhyme provides a basis for structuring vocabulary and reading new words by analogy. Studies of normal reading development suggest that small units are emphasised in the initial stage and that the use of larger units does not become apparent until the second or third year of learning. This sequence is also reflected in the development of a conscious (metalinguistic) awareness of speech segments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-134
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


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