In research on the acquisition of reading, there have been cross-orthographic comparisons made between some alphabetic scripts and a few syllabic scripts. In the present study of Japanese Grade 1 children learning to read hiragana, a syllabic script, there was a comparison of assessments of oral word reading accuracy levels recorded by scorers with different backgrounds. The results showed that cultural conventions of criteria for children’s word accuracy implied varying degrees of sensitivity to lexical pronunciations. A consequence of these unrecognized conventions in previous research was an overestimation of the hiragana word reading ability of Japanese beginner readers. For practitioners teaching and assessing reading in their own language and orthography (either alphabetic or syllabic), as well as researchers (e.g., testing the orthographic depth hypothesis), these results have implications for obtaining valid measures of accurate lexical pronunciations (as distinct from syllabogramic or graphemic) in oral word reading.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2014
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