The role of self-teaching in learning orthographic and semantic aspects of new words

Jessie Ricketts*, Dorothy V M Bishop, Hannah Pimperton, Kate Nation

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study explores how children learn the meaning (semantics) and spelling patterns (orthography) of novel words encountered in story context. English-speaking children (N = 88) aged 7 to 8 years read 8 stories and each story contained 1 novel word repeated 4 times. Semantic cues were provided by the story context such that children could infer the meaning of the word (specific context) or the category that the word belonged to (general context). Following story reading, posttests indicated that children showed reliable semantic and orthographic learning. Decoding was the strongest predictor of orthographic learning, indicating that self-teaching via phonological recoding was important for this aspect of word learning. In contrast, oral vocabulary emerged as the strongest predictor of semantic learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-70
    Number of pages24
    JournalScientific Studies of Reading
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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