Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Early spelling development is an important area of research as it presents an opportunity for our understanding of how children begin to represent sounds within words through application of letter-sound mapping. The development of spelling is often characterized by stage-like theories, although it has been suggested that children may draw on different patterns of representations (). This study examined early spelling acquisition among monolingual English-speaking and ELL kindergartners with Spanish as L1. ELLs receive all academic instruction, including written language, in English (L2) while continuously using oral L1 for all other communications. As languages differ in their linguistic and structural composition, our aim was to identify possible influences of oral L1 on spelling abilities in L2. We were particularly interested in representation of sublexical units within the words, as English and Spanish differ in their intrasyllabic awareness. Our results showed expected differences in psycholinguistic profiles of language groups as well as differences in allocation of resources in spelling attempts. While there were no statistically significant differences in representation of sublexical units between language groups, there were notable differences in percentage of correct responses pointing to language specific influences. These findings support the of phonological representations development among bilingual individual and suggests that in the early stages of spelling acquisition in L2, L1 Spanish kindergartners are still influenced by their native language although they use it in their oral modality only.


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