In this article, Sofía Vernon and Emilia Ferreiro present the results of an experimental study that looks at the relationship between the development of phonological awareness and the development of writing in Spanish-speaking kindergartners. The results of this study speak to the ongoing controversy about approaches to early literacy instruction — that is, whether children's ability to segment words into phonemes (phonological awareness) is a prerequisite for learning how to read and write. These results show that phonological awareness is not an either/or phenomenon, but that it develops across levels and that this development is related to children's writing development. Vernon and Ferreiro discuss several important educational implications based on their findings: first, that children's ability to benefit from systematic phonics instruction depends on their level of writing development; and second, that encouraging children to write in kindergarten and first grade is an important way to stimulate the analysis of spoken words or other meaningful units.

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