Previous studies [Scott & Ehri (1990) Journal of Reading Behavior22: 149–166; de Abreu & Cardoso-Martins (1998) Reading and Writing:An Interdisciplinary Journal 10: 85–104] have shown thatprereaders who know the names of the lettersuse a visual–phonological strategy to learn toread words in which the names of one or moreletters can be clearly detected in thepronunciation of the words. The present resultsextend these findings by showing that BrazilianPortuguese-speaking prereaders who know thenames of the letters can process letter–soundrelations to learn to read spellings in whichthe letters correspond to phonemes, not toletter names. Following Ehri & Wilce'sprocedure [(1985) Reading Research Quarterly 20:163–179], Brazilian preschool childrenlearned to read two types of simplifiedspellings: phonetic spellings, that is,spellings in which the letters corresponded tophonemes in the pronunciation of the words(e.g., SPT for sapato), and visualspellings, that is, spellings in which theletters did not correspond to sounds in thepronunciation of the words, but which werevisually more salient (e.g., VST for pijama). The children learned to read thephonetic spellings more easily than the visualspellings, suggesting that they recognized theletter–phoneme relations in learning to readthe phonetic spellings. This interpretation isbolstered by the results of correlationalanalyses between knowledge of letter sounds andperformance on the two word-learning tasks.While knowledge of letter–phonemecorrespondences did not correlate withperformance on the word-learning task with thevisual spellings, it correlated significantlyand positively with the children's ability tolearn to read the phonetic spellings.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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