Early development of written language in Hebrew

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Learning to read and write has a major impact on children’s linguistic and cognitive development. The present chapter traces Hebrew-speaking children’s first steps in gaining access to the special features of Hebrew orthography and then shows how they learn to make use of written language in different discourse genres. We identify several turning points in children’s learning to read and write isolated words and to produce written texts in Hebrew, taking into account linguistic and contextual factors that may play a role in individual differences in rate and level of children’s attainments in these domains. We suggest that children’s growing command of the notational and rhetorical characteristics of written language occur in parallel, as forerunners of the lengthy path that lies ahead of children before they master overall organization of texts.


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