Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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The present article examines spelling strategies of children of two different linguistic backgrounds, namely Luxembourgish and Romanophone. In Luxembourg, German literacy skills are acquired from grade 1 on and written French classes begin in grade 3. Luxembourgish is the language of communication, although a high number of Romanophone foreigners speak French in their daily life. In the underlying investigation, Luxembourgish (n = 202) and Romanophone (n = 44) children performed a dictation in German and French. The aim was to see whether a child’s linguistic background influences spelling or whether the relative high transparency of the German writing system eliminates this linguistic difference. In French, both groups performed similarly which proposes no influence of linguistic background on spelling. In German, however, Luxembourgish children obtained higher scores than Romanophones and the latter were more affected by word frequency which suggests that they encounter more difficulties in applying more complex spelling strategies. The more transparent German writing system is not sufficient to erase the linguistic difference between the two groups.


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