The effect of language specific factors on early written composition: the role of spelling, oral language and text generation skills in a shallow orthography

The effect of language specific factors on early written composition: the role of spelling, oral... Spelling skills have been identified as one of the major barriers to written text production in young English writers. By contrast oral language skills and text generation have been found to be less influential in the texts produced by beginning writers. To date, our understanding of the role of spelling skills in transparent orthographies is limited. The current study addressed this gap by examining the contribution of spelling, oral language and text generation skills in written text production in Italian beginner writers. Eighty-three children aged 7–8 years participated in the study. Spelling, lexical retrieval, receptive grammar, and written sentence generation and reformulation skills were assessed and children were asked to write a text on a set topic. A factor analysis revealed that the children’s written text production was captured by three factors: productivity, complexity and accuracy. In contrast to results from children learning to write in opaque orthographies, such as English, this study showed that receptive grammar and written sentence generation skills accounted for significant variance in measures of productivity, complexity and accuracy in Italian children’s written text production. Spelling skills contributed to text accuracy and quality and explained more variance than receptive grammar in microstructural accuracy. By contrast, oral grammatical skills explained more variance in text quality than spelling. The current study shows the differential impact of language systems, such as Italian, on written text production. Implications for assessment and instruction are outlined. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

The effect of language specific factors on early written composition: the role of spelling, oral language and text generation skills in a shallow orthography

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-015-9617-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Spelling skills have been identified as one of the major barriers to written text production in young English writers. By contrast oral language skills and text generation have been found to be less influential in the texts produced by beginning writers. To date, our understanding of the role of spelling skills in transparent orthographies is limited. The current study addressed this gap by examining the contribution of spelling, oral language and text generation skills in written text production in Italian beginner writers. Eighty-three children aged 7–8 years participated in the study. Spelling, lexical retrieval, receptive grammar, and written sentence generation and reformulation skills were assessed and children were asked to write a text on a set topic. A factor analysis revealed that the children’s written text production was captured by three factors: productivity, complexity and accuracy. In contrast to results from children learning to write in opaque orthographies, such as English, this study showed that receptive grammar and written sentence generation skills accounted for significant variance in measures of productivity, complexity and accuracy in Italian children’s written text production. Spelling skills contributed to text accuracy and quality and explained more variance than receptive grammar in microstructural accuracy. By contrast, oral grammatical skills explained more variance in text quality than spelling. The current study shows the differential impact of language systems, such as Italian, on written text production. Implications for assessment and instruction are outlined.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 2, 2016

References

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