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ERIC Number: EJ1171493
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-2928
Handwriting, Spelling, and Narrative Competence in the Fictional Stories of Italian Primary-School Children
Longobardi, Emiddia; Spataro, Pietro; Pizzicannella, Emiliano
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v33 n2 p277-293 Apr 2018
Previous studies with English-speaking children showed that handwriting and spelling abilities played a critical role in the development of writing fluency and quality, particularly during the transition from the kindergarten to primary school; in contrast, studies dealing with orthographically transparent languages found small or no relations between transcription skills and writing competence. The present study examined the question of whether, in a transparent language like Italian, spelling and handwriting abilities predicted the narrative competence of primary-school children, and whether their effects varied as a function of grade. To this purpose, 150 Italian-speaking children (77 boys and 73 girls), attending the third, fourth, and fifth grades, were examined: they underwent an assessment of receptive vocabulary and wrote a fictional story starting from a keyword. Written compositions were scored for handwriting quality, spelling errors, productivity, syntactic complexity, and the use of narrative categories. A hierarchical regression analysis showed that, after eliminating the contributions of receptive vocabulary and productivity measures, only handwriting quality was significantly and positively related to the number of narrative categories utilized by children. In addition, the impact of the two transcription skills did not vary across grades. These findings suggest that, in a transparent language like Italian, spelling ability has a limited influence on the development of narrative competence in primary-school children (at least after the third grade). On the other hand, extensive practice in handwriting might have beneficial effects, by freeing resources that children might utilize to improve the structural organization of written narratives.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A