Reading and spelling acquisition in Thai children

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Publication details

Winskel, H & Iemwanthong, K 2010, 'Reading and spelling acquisition in Thai children', Reading and Writing: an Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 23, no. 9, pp. 1021-1053.

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Thai, a tonal language, has its own distinctive alphabetic orthography.The study investigates reading and spelling development in Thai children, with anaim of examining the grain size that is predominantly used when reading andspelling. Furthermore, word and nonword lists were developed to examine theacquisition of the complex system of vowels and tone rules in Thai. Reading andspelling of words and nonwords were assessed in 60 Thai children ranging in agefrom 7 to 9 years 8 months from Grade(s) 1, 2, and 3. A lexicality effect was foundfor both reading and spelling. Spelling lagged behind reading in the Grade 1 children. Development rapidly increased between the youngest Grade 1 children and theolder Grade 2 and 3 children. For word reading there were significantly more lexicalerrors than phonological errors. Beginning readers appear to predominantly use alarger lexico-syllabic grain size to read Thai.

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