The effects of syllable segmentation on reading on children with reading difficulty: a helpful technique for poor readers.

Küçükköy, Mehmet Eyüp
There is a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that dyslexia exhibits itself differently in different languages. Based on how reading is taught in Turkish Language, the symptoms exhibited by students with reading difficulties may be different than the ones exhibited by English speaking students. Even though there is no support for the role of reading syllables as a reading unit in the literature, it is clear that the students in Turkey are taught how to read syllables and are actively using the strategy of reading a word syllable by syllable in their early reading development. Decoding words syllable by syllable, naturally, requires segmentation of the words into their subunits, namely syllables. During the slow and struggling serial decoding of syllables, which is also based on serial decoding of phonemes to corresponding graphemes, the problem is transformed into bringing the correct number of phonemes together since the syllable length is not constant. It entails an increase in the number of the mistakes while reading a word in relation to its complexity in terms of the number and the variability of the syllables it includes. Deciding how many phonemes are supposed to be brought together and isolating them from the other graphemes in the word until the decoding of the syllable finishes is of critical importance during this process. The current study tested and found significant effects of segmenting the words into its syllables on behalf of the learner. The results suggest that aiding the segmentation process significantly improved the pronunciation of the syllables and words and decreased the number of mistakes during reading. It is hoped the results will help a better understanding of reading difficulties in Turkish, which in turn might help the development of more effective intervention techniques to the problem at hand.