Journal article

Variations in the use of simple and context-sensitive grapheme-phoneme correspondences in English and German developing readers

Xenia Schmalz, Serje Robidoux, Anne Castles, Eva Marinus

Annals of Dyslexia: an interdisciplinary journal of specific language disability | SPRINGER | Published : 2020


Learning to read in most alphabetic orthographies requires not only the acquisition of simple grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) but also the acquisition of context-sensitive GPCs, where surrounding letters change a grapheme's pronunciation. We aimed to explore the use and development of simple GPCs (e.g. a ➔ /æ/) and context-sensitive GPCs (e.g. [w]a ➔ /ɔ/, as in "swan" or a[l][d] ➔ /o:/, as in "bald") in pseudoword reading. Across three experiments, English- and German-speaking children in grades 2-4 read aloud pseudowords, where vowel graphemes had different pronunciations according to different contexts (e.g. "hact", "wact", "hald"). First, we found that children use context-sensiti..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Linda Buckley for transcribing the data; Zoe Powell for the help with the data collection at William Carey Christian School; Petra Schienmann and Reinhold Kliegl for their help with organising data collection at Potsdam University; Donald Compton and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments; and the teachers at William Carey Christian School, The Armidale School, and New England Girls' School. Last but not least, we would like to thank the all the children who participated in the experiments.