Job Talk: Dr. Glenda Mason

Event Details:

  • Start: 15 February 2018 5:00 pm
  • End: 15 February 2018 6:00 pm
  • Venue: Friedman Building – Room 355
  • Categories: Speech Language Pathology


TITLE: School-aged Children’s Literacy Skills and Phonological Accuracy in Multisyllabic Words


ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that phonological accuracy is relevant to literacy; for school-aged children, however, relationships have not been studied for a representative set of multisyllabic words, nor as measured on a whole word metric.

PurposeWord level reading and spelling were examined in relation to phonological mismatches (errors) in 20 multisyllabic words, for 8- to 10-year-olds with history of typical (TD) versus protracted phonological development (PPD).

Method24 age-matched children participated. The groups had differed significantly in phonological accuracy on a whole word metric that tallied mismatches across comprehensive components of multisyllabic words. For phonological awareness, reading and spelling, performance on traditional and multisyllabic word measures was analyzed.

ResultsBetween-groups differences (Ws) were moderate to large for traditional spelling and reading fluency, and for multisyllabic word spelling. For TD children, phonological mismatches were strongly correlated with all reading and spelling scores; for the PPD group, correlations were only strong for multisyllabic word reading and spelling. Phonological mismatches explained unique variance in literacy, as follows: TD, traditional reading and spelling; PPD, multisyllabic word reading; combined groups, multisyllabic word spelling. Multisyllabic word reading also explained unique variance in multisyllabic word spelling.

ConclusionFor children with history of PPD, phonological accuracy in multisyllabic words is apparently insufficient to support automaticity of reading and spelling. For reading and spelling multisyllabic words, children with highly accurate phonology (TD) are able to rely more on letter pattern knowledge, facilitating fluency. Interventions should therefore target the development of phonological accuracy in multisyllabic words.


BIOGRAPHY: Glenda is a registered developmental SLP with a PhD in Speech Sciences (UBC), and currently is a course instructor and research associate in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. Her focus is on translating the evidence-base about children’s later phonological and literacy development to new clinical applications. To minimize the ambiguity of sub-typing phonological disorders, or overlaps in stage models, Glenda designed a method for quantifying whole word phonological accuracy along a continuum. Computerized scoring and analysis methods in Phon (developed in collaboration with Y. Rose, Memorial University) are currently being evaluated. By applying the metric to phonological accuracy in multisyllabic words, the objective is to acquire sufficient developmental data for clinical decision-making, and for future study of intervention outcomes and the perceptual foundations of idiopathic phonological disorder. Concerning the relationship of language to health outcomes more broadly, Glenda is a member of a UBC Language Sciences group conducting a scoping review on the topic. Another interest, scholarship of teaching, has led Glenda to adopt blended face-to-face and on-line instructional strategies for case-based learning. As part of a UBC learning analytics project, student engagement practices are being examined to identify patterns related to achievement of learning outcomes.