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Teaching preschoolers to read: Don’t stop between the sounds when segmenting words

Weisberg, P.; Savard, C.
This study examined the effect of the Reading Mastery (RM) segmenting blending strategy on the decoding skills of nine preschool students. All nine students were taught the first 32 lessons of RM together, utilizing the RM strategy of segmenting words by not pausing between successive sounds to create whole words. Students were then randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group (n=5) continued using the same RM segmenting strategy while the second group (n=4) was taught to segment by pausing one second between the sounds. Students in the second group were randomly removed at separate times from their group to return to instruction with the RM segmenting strategy for remediation. Curriculum based measures were administered before, during, and after the intervention. Results indicated that once students in the first group mastered segmenting by not pausing, they demonstrated high and sustained levels of word identification. Students in the second group demonstrated poor blending skills when using the segmenting by pausing strategy. Their blending skills improved once they returned to using the RM strategy. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Reading Mastery; segmenting; blending; pausing; decoding; reading
Education and Treatment of Children
Design type:
Pretest posttest wait listed control group with random assignment
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Preschool students, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), students with learning disabilities, special education students, African American students, Caucasian students
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