Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study examines the development of young children’s conceptions of the correlation between auditory duration and grapheme length of a word. The researcher hypothesizes that that children’s concept of this relationship is developed over time and will increase with age. The author also hypothesizes that that there will be a statistically significant difference between the metalinguistic abilities of children who have received formal reading instruction and those who have not. The study examined 26 preschoolers, 40 kindergarteners, and 34 first graders from private suburban schools in western New York. The researcher used word-pair cards consisting of pseudowords and words not generally used or understood by young children to test their ability to identify a target word when given visual and auditory data. Children’s test results were then analyzed and compared using the T-test and Null hypothesis. Results indicated that children’s ability to both choose the correct word and verbalize the reason behind their choice increased significantly with age, and that prereaders generally do not recognize the relationship between speech and print. The researcher concludes that children’s understanding of the relationship between auditory duration and grapheme length is developmental and can be improved through direct reading instruction. Implications for further study include examining children from different socio-economic areas to gauge the effects of environment on metalinguistic abilities, and a longitudinal study comparing beginning readers’ Speech-Print matching scores with their achievement scores on later reading assessments.


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