ERIC Number: EJ761525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Place of Environmental Print in Reading Development: Evidence from Nonliterate Adults
Cardoso-Martins, Claudia; Rodrigues, Larissa A.; Linnea C. Ehri, Linnea C.
Scientific Studies of Reading, v7 n4 p335-355 2003
This study investigated the knowledge and strategies that nonliterate adults use to identify print. Participants were 20 low-socioeconomic status Brazilian adults ranging in age from 20 to 74 years. Participants' ability to identify common environmental signs displaying varying degrees of contextual information was investigated along with their ability to learn to read simplified spellings of words written to contain two types of cues, either phonetic cues linking letters to sounds or visual cues enhancing the distinctiveness of each spelling's appearance. Their ability to invent phonetic spellings was also tested. The results showed a clear dissociation between the tasks. Participants learned to read the phonetic spellings more easily than the visual spellings, indicating that they were capable of using alphabetic cues to read words. They also used their letter knowledge to spell some of the sounds in words. However, they did not use letter knowledge to read or remember words in environmental signs. They read the signs only when presented in their full context, not when printed in isolation, and they failed to notice altered letters in the signs. These results argue strongly against the hypothesis that environmental print reading provides an important foundation for learning about the alphabetic system. More likely, reading signs and labels alphabetically emerges as a result of learning to read.
Descriptors: Adult Literacy, Illiteracy, Low Income Groups, Beginning Reading, Signs, Spelling, Cues, Alphabets, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil