Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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The current study evaluated how characteristics of Hebrew, a Semitic language with an writing system, are manifested in Hebrew-speaking preschoolers’ play with a computerized spelling game adapted for Hebrew. The game words were of different lengths and structures so as to include the entire Hebrew alphabet and all the vowels (, i, ) in all possible positions in the word (first, last, second). We analyzed the 18,720 spellings typed by 96 preschoolers aged 5;7 years (on average) who played the game during eight sessions (about 20 minutes per session) in one month.

The study indicated a greater difficulty in spelling א, ה, ו, י letters as consonants than as vowels, and more success in spelling ב, כ, פ letters that are pronounced as stops, as compared to the same letters that are pronounced as spirants. The success in spelling consonants and consonant-vowel letters was identical. Within a word, there was greater success in spelling the first letter, than in spelling the last letter, and the second letter. The length of the word did not influence success in spelling the first, second, or last letter in the word. At the same time, spelling an entire shorter word was easier than spelling an entire longer word. Lastly, spelling of words to which children had more exposures was easier than spelling words with only a single exposure. The discussion focuses on the implications of the study and refers to the nature of appropriate literacy-oriented digital Hebrew games and activities with preschoolers.


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Keyword(s): characteristics of language; computer; preschoolers; spelling game; writing
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