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ERIC Number: ED563669
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-3586-4
Novel Spoken Word Learning in Adults with Developmental Dyslexia
Conner, Peggy S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, City University of New York
A high percentage of individuals with dyslexia struggle to learn unfamiliar spoken words, creating a significant obstacle to foreign language learning after early childhood. The origin of spoken-word learning difficulties in this population, generally thought to be related to the underlying literacy deficit, is not well defined (e.g., Di Betta & Romani, 2006; Jakoby, 2010, 2011). Although it is widely accepted that dyslexia is characterized by a core deficit in phonological processing, considerable debate remains regarding the etiology of this deficit and how it hinders reading and writing development. This study investigates two prominent hypotheses about why people with dyslexia struggle with learning to read and write and examines how these may explain spoken-word learning difficulties. These hypotheses are the phonological representations hypothesis that proposes poorly specified phonological representations can largely account for the literacy difficulties experienced by people with dyslexia, and the perceptual anchoring deficit hypothesis that suggests these challenges stem from a reduced ability to implicitly benefit from repetitions of phonological information. Thirty-nine individuals, 16 with and 23 without dyslexia were given novel spoken words paired with pictures of novel objects in a story format. The relative contribution of the participants' phonological knowledge (sublexical and lexical representations) and perceptual anchoring (the ability to benefit from stimulus-specific repetitions) to this novel word-learning task was measured by two aspects of a production task. The independent variables of the phonological properties of the word forms and the effects of repetitions over test time informed us about phonological knowledge and perceptual anchoring respectively. The participants' novel word productions in a picture-naming task served as the dependent variable. By measuring the participants' progress in learning words, we quantified the potential benefit provided both by the speech-sound characteristics and by repetitions of the novel words over test time. The results suggested that deficits in phonological knowledge and perceptual anchoring make independent contributions to novel spoken-word learning and that a combination of deficits in the two areas contribute to word-learning difficulties in learners with dyslexia. The single best predictor for both groups was a task of phonological awareness, phoneme reversal. Apart from this task, a measure of verbal recall of real words appeared to be a better predictor for typical learners whereas a measure of spelling had greater predictor value for the learners with dyslexia. Spoken-word learning as a dynamic interaction of implicit and explicit memory processes is presented and discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A