Process and Acquisition of Written Language
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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In the present study, I compared implicit and explicit speech manipulation tasks for individuals who were exposed to an alphabetic system (Portuguese) to individuals exposed to a non-alphabetic system (Japanese). In Experiment I, performance on metaphonological tasks was measured for Japanese-Portuguese bilinguals with different levels of reading and writing skills. Results indicated that bilingual speakers who were not literate in Portuguese did not have phonemic awareness. In Experiment II, Japanese-Portuguese bilinguals, with varying levels of contact with the alphabet, were induced to produce speech errors. Although performance on a phoneme deletion task replicated the previous results, there were no differences between groups in the production of speech errors. The present study supports the proposal that only exposure to explicit alphabetic instruction contributes to the development of phonemic awareness. However, level of alphabetic exposure did not affect implicit knowledge of phonemes as revealed by induced speech errors.


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