Spelling acquisition of novel English phonemes in Chinese children

Spelling acquisition of novel English phonemes in Chinese children This two-year, longitudinal study compared thespelling development of two novel Englishphonemes (/∫/ and /θ/) among 35Cantonese-speaking primary level childrenlearning English as a second language (ESL) and37 English-speaking (L1) children.Developmental trend analyses suggest a similardevelopmental trajectory of spelling levelsacross time for ESL and L1 children. However,the spelling errors of the Chinese ESL childrenreflected difficulty in representing phonemesthat are absent in Cantonese phonology, andthis difficulty is not merely at theorthographic level. Poor phonologicalrepresentation of the phoneme /θ/ of ESLchildren was also reflected in an auditorydiscrimination task. Nevertheless, thisnegative transfer did not persist across time.By the time they reached the end of grade 2,the performance of ESL children was very closeto that of L1 children. A causal relationshipis shown via cross-lagged correlations betweenauditory discrimination and spellingperformance for both L1 and ESL children. Theseresults suggest an interactive relationshipbetween a general development of phonologicaland orthographic knowledge and an L1 transfereffect in second language spellingacquisition. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Spelling acquisition of novel English phonemes in Chinese children

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1023661927929
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This two-year, longitudinal study compared thespelling development of two novel Englishphonemes (/∫/ and /θ/) among 35Cantonese-speaking primary level childrenlearning English as a second language (ESL) and37 English-speaking (L1) children.Developmental trend analyses suggest a similardevelopmental trajectory of spelling levelsacross time for ESL and L1 children. However,the spelling errors of the Chinese ESL childrenreflected difficulty in representing phonemesthat are absent in Cantonese phonology, andthis difficulty is not merely at theorthographic level. Poor phonologicalrepresentation of the phoneme /θ/ of ESLchildren was also reflected in an auditorydiscrimination task. Nevertheless, thisnegative transfer did not persist across time.By the time they reached the end of grade 2,the performance of ESL children was very closeto that of L1 children. A causal relationshipis shown via cross-lagged correlations betweenauditory discrimination and spellingperformance for both L1 and ESL children. Theseresults suggest an interactive relationshipbetween a general development of phonologicaland orthographic knowledge and an L1 transfereffect in second language spellingacquisition.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2004

References

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