Special Reports

Children Who Attend Preschool Have Better Letter Knowledge


In the recent study from the University of Missouri Colleges, it was found that on average, children who completed preschool compared to children who have just begun preschool make great improvement in their alphabet and recognition skills.

The results of the study help in projecting the effectiveness of attending preschool in preparation for children's success throughout their academic careers and may prevent academic failure in the future, as reported by Eureka Alert.

In Columbia, children's preschool years are significant to their educational development and preparation for success in their students according to experts. The benefits of attending preschool seem to be apparent due to limited evidence exists to support this based on large scale state-wide studies. For this, the recent study is significant.

From more than 20,000 children who attended the state-funded Virginia Preschool Initiative, Francis Huang, an assistance professor of educational, counseling psychology and school at MU, got his data for his study. Half of these children had just started their pre-kindergarten program while the half of them had completed the prekindergarten program and were starting kindergarten. He found out that, on average, alphabet recognition skills of children who had finished a year of preschool were higher by 85 percent compared to those who had just begun the same program.

Huang said that in terms of predictors of reading ability, alphabet recognition has been shown to be one of the most reliable and strongest predictors. In administering an entire reading readiness test, letter name knowledge can be effective. The more letters a child can identify and recognize at an early future, the better their future reading achievement and the lower the risks of academic failure.

In the study, the effect of preschool attendance on letter name knowledge was both large and practically meaningful.

He also added that although alphabet recognition is just a part of a child's overall, it is significant in developing reading skills which is one of the most important factors in promoting a child's academic success.

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