The lexical restructuring model (LRM) is a theory that attempts to explain the developmental origins of phonological awareness (PA). According to the LRM, various characteristics of words should be related to the extent to which words are segmentally represented in the lexicon. Segmental representations of words allow children to access the parts of words needed to complete PA tasks. This study examined the relations between various lexical characteristics of Spanish and English words and the PA skills of Spanish-speaking language-minority children. Participants came from two independent samples of Spanish-speaking preschool children (Sample 1 N = 553, Sample 2 N = 600). For children in both samples, only phonotactic probability was related to children’s likelihood to respond correctly to Spanish PA items. Age of acquisition and word frequency were related to children’s likelihood to respond correctly to English PA items for children in both samples. Phonological neighborhood density and phonotactic probability were also related to children’s likelihood to respond correctly to English PA items; however, these effects were sample-specific. Children’s Spanish vocabulary knowledge moderated the effects of Spanish age of acquisition and word frequency on responses to Spanish PA items. Children’s English vocabulary knowledge moderated the effects of English phonological neighborhood density and phonotactic probability on responses to English PA items. These findings have implications for the development of PA assessments to be used with language-minority children.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 20, 2016
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