A child’s spoken vocabulary helps them when it comes to reading new words for the first time—18 July 2017 

Children find it easier to spell a word when they’ve already heard it spoken, a new study led by researchers from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) at Macquarie University has found. The findings are the first to provide evidence about how oral vocabulary in children is linked to their ability to learn to read new words.

“While it is understood that reading is good for language acquisition in children, the link between how reading and talking to your child helps them identify the spelling of new words has been difficult to uncover. The results certainly add weight to the fact that reading to your kids helps their language development in an array of different ways, including helping them learn to read themselves,” said ARC-funded researcher and CCD Chief Investigator, Distinguished Professor Anne Castles.

“These findings also support the addition of oral vocabulary instruction in the classroom when it comes to teaching our kids how to spell,” said Ms Signy Wegener, lead author of the study, who is a PhD student at CCD.

The results, which are published in the journal Developmental Science, also found that children benefit the most from oral familiarity with a word when it sounds the way it is spelled, indicating that predictability of the spelling of a word is an important factor in the process.

 

Media issued by Macquarie University. 

Image: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders logo
Imange courtesy: Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Macquarie University

Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, July 18, 2017