This study examined differences between adults with low literacy skills and typically achieving children, who were matched on decoding ability, on their production of morphologically complex words (MC) in oral and written stories. In addition, we collected data on their morphological awareness, spelling, and vocabulary skills. Both adults and children were more likely to produce MC words in their oral stories compared to their written stories. While children were much more skilled at using –ed forms to produce past tense verbs than adults, adults were more likely to add –s to a verb and to produce contractions compared to children. Children and adults were comparable in pluralizing words, adding –ing to verbs, and producing derived MC words. For all of the literacy measures (morphological awareness, spelling, and vocabulary) adults always outperformed children. Thus, while adults were stronger in morphological awareness, spelling, and vocabulary, those skills did not seem to aid in the growth of explicitly applying morphological knowledge in the story-telling tasks.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2015
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