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ERIC Number: EJ1165454
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Copying Helps Novice Learners Build Orthographic Knowledge: Methods for Teaching Devanagari Akshara
Bhide, Adeetee
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v31 n1 p1-33 Jan 2018
Hindi graphs, called akshara, are difficult to learn because of their visual complexity and large set of graphs. Akshara containing multiple consonants (complex akshara) are particularly difficult. In Hindi, complex akshara are formed by fusing individual consonantal graphs. Some complex akshara look similar to their component parts (transparent), whereas others do not (opaque). We taught 35 English-speaking adults a semi-artificial orthography that was modeled on the Devanagari script used for Hindi and other Indic languages. Participants were taught 80 complex akshara using 4 different methods: (1) choosing the components (from several choices) given the graph (2) choosing the correct graph (from several choices) given its components, (3) copying a graph while the graph and its components are displayed, and (4) writing a graph from memory given its components. Methods 1 and 2 compare emphasis on part-whole versus whole-part relationships, methods 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 compare motor effects, and methods 3 and 4 compare testing effects. We found that transparent graphs were better learned than opaque graphs. Testing on the akshara typically did not improve learning and there were few effects of emphasis on part-whole versus whole-part relationships. There was evidence for motor effects; copying & writing the akshara improved pure orthographic knowledge and people's ability to produce the phonological form of a given akshara. These results corroborate other studies showing that copying and writing graphs helps beginning learners of English, Chinese, and Arabic build orthographic knowledge. Copying was more time efficient than writing, suggesting that having beginning learners copy akshara is an important pedagogical tool to use in classrooms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: SBE0836012