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ERIC Number: EJ953916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Linking the Shapes of Alphabet Letters to Their Sounds: The Case of Hebrew
Treiman, Rebecca; Levin, Iris; Kessler, Brett
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v25 n2 p569-585 Feb 2012
Learning the sounds of letters is an important part of learning a writing system. Most previous studies of this process have examined English, focusing on variations in the phonetic iconicity of letter names as a reason why some letter sounds (such as that of b, where the sound is at the beginning of the letter's name) are easier to learn than others (such as that of w, where the sound is not in the name). The present study examined Hebrew, where variations in the phonetic iconicity of letter names are minimal. In a study of 391 Israeli children with a mean age of 5 years, 10 months, we used multilevel models to examine the factors that are associated with knowledge of letter sounds. One set of factors involved letter names: Children sometimes attributed to a letter a consonant-vowel sound consisting of the first phonemes of the letter's name. A second set of factors involved contrast: Children had difficulty when there was relatively little contrast in shape between one letter and others. Frequency was also important, encompassing both child-specific effects, such as a benefit for the first letter of a child's forename, and effects that held true across children, such as a benefit for the first letters of the alphabet. These factors reflect general properties of human learning.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail: service-ny@springer.com; Web site: http://www.springerlink.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel