Psychologist: Phonemic awareness, or the knowledge that spoken language can be broken into component sounds, is essen...

Sean on November 5 at 05:44PM

PT 77, S4, Q18

Could you please break down this question? I correctly chose D, but only through elimination of the others. Thanks for your help!

1 Reply

Ravi on December 26 at 04:58PM

@smilde11,

Happy to help.

We know that for learning to read an alphabetic language, phonemic awareness is essential.

LRAL - >PA

We're also told that for learning to read an alphabetic language, one also needs to learn how sounds are symbolically represented by means of letters.

LRAL - ->LHSSR

From this, we know that there are two necessary conditions for LRAL; if LRAL is to occur, then both PA and LHSSR must also occur.

The question stem asks us which answer choice can be properly inferred. This is essentially a must be true question.

Answer A is incorrect because it states that the whole-language method invariably succeeds in teaching awareness of how spoken language can be broken into component sounds. We only have some instances of children who are taught by the whole-language method, so this statement can't be inferred.

Answer B is incorrect because it confuses one of the necessary conditions for learning to read an alphabetic language for being a sufficient condition for guaranteeing the ability to learn to read an alphabetic language. Above, we one of our diagrams was LRAL - >LHSSR. Answer B is saying LHSSR - >LRAL, which is incorrect and cannot be inferred.

Answer C is incorrect because the stimulus does not tell us what other necessary conditions exist in order to learn to read an alphabetic language. For all we know, there could be a third necessary condition that is failed that prevents someone from learning to read an alphabetic language. However, in this hypothetical scenario, even though the third necessary condition is failed, the two necessary conditions mentioned in the stimulus (PR and LHSSR) could still be satisfied. This shows why C cannot be inferred from the psychologist's statements.

Answer D is correct because it is consistent with LHSSR being a necessary condition for LRAL. As mentioned in the stimulus, if LRAL, then LHSSR has to occur. In order for LHSSR to occur, then it must be the case that children were not prevented from learning how sounds are represented by means of letters (LHSSR), which is what answer D is saying. This is why this statement can be inferred. This is our answer choice.

Answer E is incorrect. We know that many children who are taught by the whole-language method learn to read alphabetic languages (LRAL), so we know that these children also must learn how sounds are symbolically represented by means of letters (LHSSR). However, we don't know how these children learned how to represent sounds symbolically by means of letters. E is saying that the whole-language method is what taught these kids this, and we cannot infer this. The children could have learned from watching videos or taking lessons from someone. All we know is that LHSSR is a necessary condition for LRAL, but we don't know anything about how it's acquired.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have more questions!