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CAPOVILLA, Alessandra Gotuzo Seabra; CAPOVILLA, Fernando César  and  SOARES, Joceli Vergínia Toledo. Syntactic awareness in elementary school: correlation with phonological awareness, vocabulary, reading and spelling. PsicoUSF [online]. 2004, vol.9, n.1, pp. 39-47. ISSN 1413-8271.

Metalinguistic skills such as phonological awareness and syntactic awareness are important to reading and spelling acquisition. Standardized tests on phonological awareness, reading competence, spelling under dictation and receptive vocabulary in Brazilian Portuguese are already available in the literature. This paper presents a Syntactic Awareness Test, along with preliminary validation data from 204 first to fourth grade elementary school children. Children were tested in syntactic awareness, phonological awareness, reading, spelling and receptive vocabulary. Results showed significant effects of school grade upon Syntactic Awareness Test overall scores, as well as upon specific scores in all its four subtests, even after controlling for the effect of verbal intelligence by using vocabulary scores as covariant. Significant effects of school grade upon phonological awareness, reading, spelling and vocabulary were also found. Finally, overall scores in all five tests were positively interrelated, which gives support to published evidences about relationships holding among reading, spelling and metalinguistic skills.

Keywords : Metalanguage; Literacy; Phonology; Lexicon; Syntax.

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