The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between morphological awareness and the spelling of morphemes and morphologically complex words among 75 third- and fourth-grade Francophone students of low socio-economic status. To reach this objective, we administered a dictation comprised of morphologically complex words with prefixes, bases, morphogrammes and suffixes. The target items had inconsistent or infrequent spellings, so their spelling required children to apply morphological knowledge. The children also completed three tests that measured morphological awareness. Correlational analyses indicated that a higher level of morphological awareness was significantly associated with the spelling of each type of morpheme. Regression analyses showed that it made a unique contribution only to the spelling of morphogrammes (4 %), suffixes (9 %), and morphologically complex words (5 %) after grade level, word identification, non-verbal intelligence and phonological awareness were partialled out. However, morphological awareness no longer predicted the spelling of morphologically complex words when the spelling of morphemes was entered in the regression model. These findings extending those of previous studies with respect to the role of morphological awareness in the production of morphologically complex written words and contribute to the discussion on the nature of the link between morphological awareness and word spelling.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 5, 2015
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