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ERIC Number: EJ906965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0007-0998
The Effects of Phonological Awareness of Zulu-Speaking Children Learning to Spell in English: A Study of Cross-Language Transfer
De Sousa, Diana Soares; Greenop, Kirston; Fry, Jessica
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v80 n4 p517-533 Dec 2010
Background: Emergent bilingual Zulu-English speaking children in South Africa have spoken but no written proficiency in Zulu (L1), yet are required to learn to spell English (L2) via English-only literacy instruction. Little research exists on emergent bilingual's phonological awareness (PA) and spelling development, with no L1 formal literacy instruction. Thus, whether PA in a L1 impacts on literacy acquisition in the L2 remains unclear. Aims: Performance on monolingual PA, monolingual and emergent bilingual spelling was compared. In addition, PA and spelling in emergent bilingual Zulu-English speakers was explored to ascertain cross-language transfer relationships. Sample: Thirty emergent bilingual Zulu-English and thirty monolingual English children in grade 2 participated. Method: Emergent bilinguals were assessed on Zulu PA, Zulu and English spelling skills. Monolinguals were assessed on English PA and English spelling skills. Results: Emergent bilinguals had more Zulu PA levels related to spelling English tasks than to spelling Zulu tasks, and both Zulu PA and Zulu spelling were positively related to English spelling tasks. Significant differences were found between L1 Zulu and English phoneme and rime PA levels, and L1 English and L2 English spelling tasks. Conclusions: Findings support the language-universal hypothesis that L1 PA is related to spelling across languages in emergent bilinguals. In emergent bilinguals, both Zulu spoken proficiency and English-only literacy instruction influences the underlying repertoire of PA skills used to spell within the L1 and the L2. Rime and phoneme PA and spelling skills in Zulu/English rely on language-specific orthographic knowledge.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa