• ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Studies into emerging literacy suggest that print activities in early childhood and kindergarten facilitate children's later learning of reading and writing skills. Few studies, however, specify what qualities of print activities are important. In our study we focus on the quality of kindergartners' name writing. We conducted a study with 23 kindergarten children of whom 14 could correctly write their own names and the others could not. We explored whether the children's name writing ability correlates with their spelling achievements in grade 1, one to one-and-a-half years later. Moreover, we wanted to find out whether children who could not write their names in kindergarten differed from children who could in terms of the type of spelling errors they made in grade 1. All children or their parents were immigrants from the Netherlands Antilles, a former Dutch colony in the Caribbean. Moreover, all children had an IQ of at least 90. Spelling achievements were measured with standardized tests in December, four months after the children had entered school, and in June, at the end of grade 1.Children who had been able to write their names correctly in kindergarten produced significantly fewer spelling errors in grade 1 (December and June) than children who had not been able to write their names in kindergarten or had been unable to write them correctly. The two groups did not differ with regard to the type of errors they made. One group simply made more errors than the other. Most errors were of three types: (1) with ccvc words or ccvc words they left out the second (or the third) consonant (e.g. they wrote 'kaan' instead of 'kraan'; (2) they had problems with letter-sound correspondence: (a) they left out one of the letters of a long vowel (e.g. 'kran' instead of 'kraan'); (b) they changed the order of letters in diphthongs (e.g. 'leif' instead of 'lief' and (c) they did not correctly distinguish between consonants that resemble each other (e.g. 'vles' instead of 'fles'); (3) they changed the position of consonants in ccvc words or cvcc words (e.g. 'trap' became 'tarp' or 'koets' became 'koest'). The results suggest that the ability to write one's name in kindergarten affects the speed of the process of acquiring formal spelling rules in grade 1.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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