ERIC Number: EJ835882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Flexibility in Young Second-Language Learners: Examining the Language Specificity of Orthographic Processing
Deacon, S. Helene; Wade-Woolley, Lesly; Kirby, John R.
Journal of Research in Reading, v32 n2 p215-229 May 2009
This study examines whether orthographic processing transfers across languages to reading when the writing systems under acquisition are sufficiently related. We conducted a study with 76 7-year-old English-first-language children in French immersion. Measures of English and French orthographic processing (orthographic choice tasks) and standardised measures of English and French word reading (Woodcock and FIAT) were taken, in addition to verbal and nonverbal ability, and phonological and morphological awareness. Analyses reveal significant contributions of orthographic processing to reading both within and across the two languages, despite the inclusion of control variables. Findings of the transfer of orthographic processing skills to reading across languages suggest that orthographic processing may not be as language specific as previously hypothesised. We discuss the several similarities between English and French, such as a shared alphabet and cognates, that may drive transfer across languages in the context of current theories of second-language reading development.
Descriptors: Reading Difficulties, French, Nonverbal Ability, English, Immersion Programs, Second Language Learning, Evaluation Methods, Reading Processes, Cognitive Processes, Orthographic Symbols, Language Acquisition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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