First and second language learnability explained by orthographic depth and orthographic learning: a 'natural' Scandinavian experiment.

Victor Van Daal, Malin Wass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Effects of orthographic depth on orthographic learning ability were examined in 10- to 13-year-old children who learnt to read in similar orthographies differing in orthographic depth, defined as consistency of grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences. Danish children who learnt to read a deep orthography underperformed their Swedish counterparts who acquired a shallow orthography on vocabulary, phonological working memory, orthographic learning ability, and a range of first-language (L1: Danish/Swedish) and second-language (L2: English as a foreign language) measures. Orthographic learning ability explained over and above vocabulary and phonological working memory the better performance of Swedish children in comparison with Danish children on L1 reading accuracy and fluency, spelling, and visual word familiarity. With respect to L2 learning, orthographic learning ability determined spelling and visual word familiarity over and above L2 vocabulary and phonological working memory. It is concluded that shallow orthographies promote orthographic learning ability more efficiently than deep orthographies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-59
Number of pages14
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • cross-linguistic
  • orthographic learning
  • orthography
  • phonological memory
  • vocabulary
  • orthographic depth
  • consistency of grapheme to phoneme correspondences

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