As children learn to read, they become sensitive to the patterns that exist in the ways in which their language(s) are represented in print. This skill is known as orthographic processing. We examined the nature of orthographic processing in English and French for children in the first grade of a French immersion program, and the relationship between orthographic processing and reading beyond controls for mother’s education, non-verbal reasoning, English vocabulary and phonological awareness. We found that children showed greater orthographic processing skill to patterns that were common to both of their languages than to those that occurred in just one of their languages. Across both lexical and sub-lexical orthographic processing measures, scores were related to word reading within each language, beyond our control variables. There was some evidence of cross-language relationships between orthographic processing and word reading, both for lexical and sub-lexical language-shared measures of orthographic processing. These findings suggest that children’s attention to features that are common both languages might be one source of transfer of orthographic processing to reading between languages.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 25, 2012
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