Thirty-four second grade children read target homophonic pseudowords (e.g., slurst/slirst) in the context of real stories in a test of the self-teaching theory of early reading acquisition. The degree of orthographic learning was assessed with three converging tasks: homophonic choice, spelling, and target naming. Each of the tasks indicated that orthographic learning had taken place because processing of target homophones (e.g., yait) was superior to that of their homophonic controls (e.g., yate). Consistent with the self-teaching hypothesis, we obtained a substantial correlation (r = .52) between orthographic learning and the number of target homophones correctly decoded during story reading. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that neither RAN tasks nor general cognitive ability predicted variance in orthographic learning once the number of target homophones correctly decoded during story reading had been partialed out. In contrast, a measure of orthographic knowledge predicted variance in orthographic learning once the number of targets correctly decoded had been partialed. The development of orthographic knowledge appears to be not entirely parasitic on decoding ability.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to Anne E. Cunningham and a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to Keith E. Stanovich.
- Orthographic knowledge
- Orthographic learning
- Reading acquisition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology