Cross-linguistic transfer in reading in multilingual contexts – recent research trends
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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Children learning to read in two languages are faced with orthographic features from both languages, either unique to a language or similar across languages. In the present study, we examined how children develop orthographic processing skills over time (from grade 1 to grade 2) with a sample of Canadian children attending a French immersion program and we investigated the underlying factor structure of orthographic skills across English and French. Two orthographic processing tasks were administered in both languages: lexical orthographic processing (e.g. choose the correct spelling from people–peeple) and sub-lexical orthographic processing (e.g. which is the more word-like vaid–vayd?), which included both language-specific and language-shared orthographic regularities. Children’s performances in sub-lexical tasks increased with grade but were comparable across languages. Further, evidence for a one factor model including all measures suggested that there is a common underlying orthographic processing skill that cuts across measurement and language variables.


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