Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Although French plural spelling has been studied extensively, the complexity of factors affecting the learning of French plural spelling are not yet fully explained, namely on the level of adjectival and verbal plural. This study investigates spelling profiles of French plural markers of 228 multilingual grade 5 pupils with French taught as a foreign language.

Three analyses on the learner performances of plural spelling in nouns, verbs and pre- and postnominal attributive adjectives were conducted (1) to detect the pupils’ spelling profiles of plural marking on the basis of the performances in the pretest, (2) to test the profiles against two psycholinguistic theories, and (3) to evaluate the impact of the training on each spelling profile in the posttest.

The first analysis confirms the existing literature that pupils’ learning of French plural is not random but ordered and emphasizes the role of the position for adjectives (pre- or postnominal) on correct plural spelling. The second analysis reveals the theoretical difficulties of predicting spelling of adjectival and verbal plural. The third analysis shows that strong and poor spellers both benefit from a morphosyntactic training and provides transparency and traceability of the learning trajectories.

Together, the descriptive analyses reveal clear patterns of intra-individual spelling profiles. They point to a need for further research in those areas that have empirically provided the most inconsistent results to date and that are not supported by the theories: verbs and adjectives.


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