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ERIC Number: EJ1080866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8438
Writing "Dinosaur" Large and "Mosquito" Small: Prephonological Spellers' Use of Semantic Information
Zhang, Lan; Treiman, Rebecca
Scientific Studies of Reading, v19 n6 p434-445 2015
One influential theory of literacy development, the constructivist perspective, claims that young children believe that writing represents meaning directly and that the appearance of a written word should reflect characteristics of its referent. There has not been strong evidence supporting this idea, however. Circumventing several methodological concerns with previous studies, we examined written spellings of young children who did not yet use letters to represent the sounds of words, that is, prephonological spellers. We identified 38 prephonological spellers (M age = 4 years, 2 months) and measured the area of their writing productions. Prephonological spellers made significantly larger productions for words representing large objects than those representing small objects. This effect held true after controlling for the influences of other variables, including size of writing on previous trials and order of trial in a session. Our results suggest that young children sometimes use drawing-like features to communicate the meaning of words when writing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD051610; BCS1421279