Cosmic sounds: A game to support phonological awareness skills for children with dyslexia

Brennan, Attracta
McDonagh, Tara
Dempsey, Mary
McAvoy, John
Brennan, Attracta, McDonagh, Tara, Dempsey, Mary, & McAvoy, John. (2022). Cosmic Sounds: A game to support Phonological Awareness skills for children with Dyslexia. IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, doi:10.1109/TLT.2022.3170231
Studies show that reduced literacy skills can negatively influence a child¿s self-esteem and future career opportunities. Literacy is significantly affected when problems exist understanding the phonological component or sound structure of language i.e. phonological awareness. Children with dyslexia in particular, experience difficulties in spelling and reading accuracy due to a deficit in this phonological component of language. To support children with dyslexia and reduced literacy skills, intervention programmes which focus on phonological awareness elements are recommended. Studies show that game based learning (GBL) interventions can enhance learning for children with dyslexia. The purpose of this pilot study was to partner with children with dyslexia aged between 9 to 12 years, to develop a game toolkit called Cosmic Sounds, to support the teaching of phonological awareness skills. The content for the Cosmic Sounds games was informed by a pedagogical expert in dyslexia. This pilot study addressed the following; ¿Can a toolkit of games, co-designed by children with dyslexia improve the teaching of phonological awareness skills?¿ Our findings showed that by including children and their teacher as part of the design team, they were more invested in using the games for learning. Furthermore, when children with dyslexia played Cosmic Sounds, there was a positive impact on their phonological awareness skills progress whilst their engagement in learning also increased.
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