The relationship between phonemic awareness and mathematical skills in first-grade students

Document Type : Original Articles


1 MS in Speech Therapy

2 Faculty member of speech therapy Rehabilitation Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

3 Faculty member of Access Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences



Introduction Numerical learning is now considered as an essential educational component and any deficit in mathematical understanding strongly relates to impaired functioning, not just at school but also in everyday life. There is, however, a paucity of empirical studies about basic cognitive factors that can specifically influence the growth of mathematical skills in school-age children of early grades. So, the underlying cognitive factors that are associated with growth of math ability at different stages of one’s educational development have yet to be empirically determined. Phonological awareness may affect the development of mathematical skills since strategies of speech-sound processing are used to treat problems in this academic domain. Materials and Methods This was a descriptive-analytic study in which 70 first graders with normal IQ were randomly chosen. There was no history of hearing and/or language disorders and failure in primary school among these subjects. All participants underwent a phonological awareness test and Iran key Math Mathematics Test. Obtained data were statistically analyzed with SPSS software. Results There was a significant correlation between total score of phonemic awareness skill and that of mathematic skill (r=.97). Moreover, the scores of all phonemic awareness subtests significantly related to those of mathematic subtests. The strongest relationship were observed between counting and middle phoneme deleting (r=74) and geometry and segmenting had the weakest relationship with each other (r=.42). Conclusions The results of present study replicated those obtained through other researches. However, correlation coefficients of this study are different from those reported in other studies. This can be due to several factors among which difference in the count of variables, difference in the categorizing of phonological awareness and mathematical skills and using different test can be noted. Key words Mathematical skill, phonemic awareness, first grade students