Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 11: 65–88, 1999.
1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Leisure time reading and orthographic processes in word
recognition among Norwegian third- and fourth-grade students
, ALFRED LIE
, RUNE ANDREASSEN
BODIL S. OLAUSSEN
University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway;
Østfold College, Halden, Norway;
Oslo College, Oslo,
Abstract. Third- and fourth-grade Norwegian children completed a battery of tasks that
measured indicators of orthographic and phonological processing skill, leisure time reading,
home literacy environment, and nonverbal intelligence. Using latent variable structural equa-
tion modeling, it was found that home literacy environment inﬂuenced leisure time reading,
and that leisure time reading contributed to orthographic processing skill beyond the prediction
provided by phonological processing skill. Home literacy environment inﬂuenced orthographic
processing skill indirectly by its inﬂuence on leisure time reading. In addition, some children
with poor phonological skill and good orthographic skill were found to score high on a leisure
time reading measure. Even though Norwegian has much more regular orthography than
English, these results are consistent with previous ﬁndings in the United States linking vari-
ance in orthographic processing skill to differences in leisure time reading. Thus, this study
showed the robustness of orthographic skill independent of phonological processing even
within the context of an orthographically regular language.
Key words: Home literacy, Leisure time reading, Orthography, Word recognition
Word recognition is the foundational process of reading acquisition (Share
& Stanovich 1995a). Models of word recognition have commonly identiﬁed
two kinds of component processes (e.g., Høien & Lundberg 1988; Olson,
Wise, Conners, Rack & Fulker 1989). Firstly, phonologicalprocesses in word
recognition involve that sound characteristics of words are attended to prior
to the identiﬁcation of word meanings. Secondly, orthographic processes
in word recognition utilize knowledge about the graphic characteristics of
words. This implies that orthographic representations in the form of letter
sequences are stored in the reader’s lexical memory (Ehri 1992).
As students are confronted with more and more printed text, their need
for the superior speed and efﬁciency of orthographically based word recog-
nition probably increases (Juel, Grifﬁth & Gough 1986; Olson et al. 1989).
According to Perfetti (1992), word recognition proﬁciency depends on both