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Letters, sounds, and symbols: Changes in children's understanding of written language

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Ellen Bialystok*
Affiliation:
York University
*
Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele St., North York, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canada

Abstract

Children between 3–5 years who knew the alphabet but could not read were given three tasks. In the first, they decided which of two words was longer when the word pairs were presented orally, in writing, or accompanying pictures. In the second, they “read” a word when it accompanied a picture of the named object and then again when it was placed with a picture of a different object. Finally, they were given a set of plastic letters with which they could create their own words. Although all the children had explicit knowledge of letters and sounds, they lacked symbolic knowledge of how letters represent sounds. This symbolic knowledge, it is claimed, is a precondition to learning to read.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1991

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References

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