Predictors of Orthographic Learning of Regular and Irregular Words

Hua Chen Wang*, Lyndsey Nickels, Kate Nation, Anne Castles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to explore the reading and language skills that are associated with orthographic learning and to examine whether the effects of these factors are influenced by word regularity. Grade 2 and 3 children learned the phonology and meaning of novel words and were subsequently exposed to their orthography, with either regular or irregular mappings. At the participant level, phonological decoding skill, orthographic knowledge, and vocabulary knowledge were associated with orthographic learning for both word types. However, at an item level, reading novel words correctly did not directly relate to the successful acquisition of the representations of those novel words. In addition, item-specific vocabulary knowledge was a predictor of success in orthographic learning, but only for irregular words. The findings are discussed in relation to the self-teaching hypothesis (Share, 1995).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Studies of Reading
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


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