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Vol. 13 No. 2 (2010)

At-Risk Readers in French Immersion: Early Identification and Early Intervention

October 15, 2012


The present study analyses the impact of phonological awareness instruction on the reading achievement of at-risk Grade 1 readers enrolled in an early French immersion program. Twenty-nine children from diverse linguistic backgrounds participated in the study. At-risk readers were identified on the basis of their text reading performance and phonological awareness test scores, and received 20 weeks of phonological awareness training in small groups. The intervention was initially given in English, and switched to French once students had acquired a foundation in the language. Significant gains were found in the phonological awareness skills of the treatment group. Results also indicated that the end-of-year French reading levels of the treatment group were superior to those of the comparison group. These findings suggest that a phonologically-based intervention can effectively address phonological awareness deficits and facilitate French reading acquisition for early immersion students who are considered to be at-risk for later reading difficulties.