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Influence of dialect use on early reading and spelling acquisition in German-speaking children in Grade 1


Bühler, Jessica; von Oertzen, Timo; McBride, Catherine; Stoll, Sabine; Maurer, Urs (2018). Influence of dialect use on early reading and spelling acquisition in German-speaking children in Grade 1. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 30(3):336-360.

Abstract

During literacy acquisition, children learn to match written and spoken language. Little is known about how this is achieved by children who grow up speaking a dialect. The present study examined literacy-related skills before school in 71 children (meanage: 7.61y) with a differing degree of exposure to Swiss-German (SwissG) dialect and tested their reading and spelling skills at the end of Grade 1. No differences in Grade 1 reading and spelling were found between groups of children with different SwissG exposure. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) revealed that SwissG exposure was negatively associated with Grade 1 spelling and reading, when statistically controlling for early literacy-related-skills. At the same time, SwissG exposure was positively associated with early literacy-related skills that drive reading and spelling development. Thus, literacy acquisition in children speaking a dialect is characterised by disadvantages due to a linguistic mismatch, but also by compensatory advantages of higher metalinguistic skills.

Abstract

During literacy acquisition, children learn to match written and spoken language. Little is known about how this is achieved by children who grow up speaking a dialect. The present study examined literacy-related skills before school in 71 children (meanage: 7.61y) with a differing degree of exposure to Swiss-German (SwissG) dialect and tested their reading and spelling skills at the end of Grade 1. No differences in Grade 1 reading and spelling were found between groups of children with different SwissG exposure. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) revealed that SwissG exposure was negatively associated with Grade 1 spelling and reading, when statistically controlling for early literacy-related-skills. At the same time, SwissG exposure was positively associated with early literacy-related skills that drive reading and spelling development. Thus, literacy acquisition in children speaking a dialect is characterised by disadvantages due to a linguistic mismatch, but also by compensatory advantages of higher metalinguistic skills.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:19 Apr 2018 12:16
Last Modified:20 Apr 2018 13:52
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2018.1444614

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