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Chapter 2: From Nursery Rhymes to Phonological Coding
Children first learn words by listening to them and only later by reading them. Listening discrimination, that is, accurate discrimination between two similar sounding words is learnt through day-to-day experience. We have observed, for example, that children as young as three who grow up in an English-speaking environment, but in a household where the parents' mother tongue is not English, soon begin to correct their parents' English diction. While children acquire a foreign language very easily, it is not the same with parents, who may be unable to reproduce words exactly as they are spoken by the native speakers of that language.
As listening discrimination is developed through incidental and planned experiences, parents and educators ...