The role of order of acquisition of literacy on cognate spelling: a pilot study with Turkish-French bilingual children.

Mertan, B. and Raman, Ilhan (2006) The role of order of acquisition of literacy on cognate spelling: a pilot study with Turkish-French bilingual children. In: Experimental Psychology Society: The Role of Orthographies on Reading and Spelling, 20-21 September, 2006, Middlesex University. (Unpublished)

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The current study explored the role of order of acquisition of orthography on spelling using a written picture naming task in Turkish–French (L1-L2) bilingual children. Turkish and French orthographies vary considerably in the manner they represent sound; French, like English, has opaque mappings between sound and print whilst Turkish has completely transparent mappings. Very little research has been conducted investigating the impact of the order of acquisition of literacy on spelling despite a wealth of research on reading acquisition in bilingual children. All other things equal, spelling in a completely transparent orthography ought to be easier than spelling in an opaque orthography. It is hypothesized that children who acquired Turkish first will make significantly more errors when spelling in French compared to spelling in Turkish by children who acquired French first. A total of 28 children resident in France, aged between 10-11, were allocated to two equal groups depending on whether they acquired their early literacy in either Turkey or France. The picture names are cognates in Turkish and French with similar pronunciation and spelling in L1 and L2 (e.g., light bulb is ampul in Turkish and ampoule in French). Formal analysis of the spelling error data show that children who acquired literacy in French first made surprisingly three times more errors in Turkish than French compared to children who acquired literacy in Turkish making marginally more errors in French than Turkish. The results are discussed within a bilingual model of spelling from a developmental perspective and the transferring of phonological and orthographic skills between L1 and L2.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Health and Education > Health & Education
ID Code:7513
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Deposited On:14 Apr 2011 14:42
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:12

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