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to read poses real challenges, even to children who will eventually become good
readers. Furthermore, although every writing system has its own complexities,
English presents a relatively large challenge, even among alphabetic languages.
So, developing strong reading skills in students is one of the key goals of
every early education program. Then, we have to know that the typical reading
age for a child falls between the ages of four to seven years old. We know that
the learning pace may vary from child to child, but have you ever stopped to
wonder whether or not your child’s reading development is delayed? We have to
know the reasons of these challenges that focus children when they start to
read in order to prevent them from happening.


  Hanley (2010) claims that a number of studies
have shown that word recognition skills in children learning to read English
develop more slowly than in other countries using alphabetic systems. He
compared the word recognition skills of matched groups of children learning to
read in Welsh (with a transparent orthography) and children learning to read in
English (with an opaque orthography). He found a “tail’ of poor English
readers, but no such tail of those leaming to read in Welsh. He argues that
English is a difficult writing system for children to learn.

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 Dombey (2006) has also written about the
challenges that English orthography presents to learner readers. She argues
that “it is never going to be enough to teach children the
phoneme-grapheme correspondences of words such as “dog” and
“cat” We need to help them become aware of other patterns. Rhyme is
particularly useful here the rime is a stable spelling that represents a stable
pronunciation, and so provides a better clue to word identification than does a
grapheme-by-grapheme analysis.

(Wood.C, Connelly.V, p.221)





Sociolinguists care about the ways in which speech varies counting on an
individual’s locus in a structure or social relationship. In cultures,
different speech methods are used reckoning on whether the speaker and hearer
are close friends, or people of distinctly different social statuses, French,
German, and Spanish, among other languages, have formal and informal pronouns
and conjugations that are not found in English.

 (L. Warms and Nanda.p.88)




Another strongly held view is that it is
beneficial for children to be trained in phonological awareness skills prior to
learning to read (Maclean et al., 1987; Fraser 1997; Goswami, 1999). Although
there is a well-established association between preschool phonological
awareness skill and later reading, there are only a few studies showing that
training this skill without print exposure is beneficial for reading and
spelling (Cunningham, i Lie, Lundberg et al., 1988). Indeed, other studies find
that children only benefit from phonological awareness training if they are
shown how the sounds in words are presented letters of the alphabet.

(Wood.C, Connelly.V, p.222)




PROREAD study (2009) was undertaken in six EU countries with test data from
3,000 children and 6,500 remedial teachers to investigate the effectiveness of
remedial support for poor readers.It is argued that for poor reader support to
be successful it should be aimed at students and teachers.This is one of the
few reports where the influence of learning to read in different languages is
considered.It is argued that learning to read in different languages does not
require different cognitive skills and thus evidence of effective intervention
programmes across language barriers may be valuable.




and Goswami (1994) used a similar technique to investigate the influ ence of
orthographic consistency on reading development in English- and German-
speaking children.In this study, children were asked to read numerals (1, 3,
5), number words (ten, seven) and nonwords derived from the number words by
chang ing the onset of the syllable (e.g. sen, feven).There were no group
differences in the speed or accuracy with which numerals and number words could
be read, but there was a group difference in nonword reading: German children,
who had learned the transparent language, made fewer errors and read the
nonwords faster (seealso Frith, Wimmer, & Landerl, 1998, who noted that
English children have particular difficulty reading vowels that are represented
inconsistently in the English orthography

(Goswami.U, p.407)




children learn to read and
spell more quickly in transparent writing systems than in opaque systems such
as English (Seymour, 2005) One of the first studies to demonstrate differences
between children learning to read in opaque and transparent orthographies was
conducted by Oney and Goldman (1984), who compared the reading skills of children
learning to read in English (American) and Turkish.Turkish is a transparent
orthography containing consistent letter-sound correspondences and therefore
provides an interesting comparison with the opaque orthography of English.These
researchers investigated nonword as well as word reading.While words can be
read from memory by directly accessing ortho- graphic representations
(memorized spelling patterns), nonword reading provides a relatively pure test
of decoding ability.Oney and Goldman 1984) reported that both decoding accuracy
and speed were better among children learning to read in Turkish than English


Recently, several studies
have proposed another view of orthographic variation and processes, ie.the
“grain size” of units (Goswami et al., 1998 2003: Ziegler et al.,
2001).This concerns the size of a processing unit in word reading.The grain
size varies from ‘small”, such as the link between graphemes and phonemes,
to large, such as the link between word bodies and phonological rhymes or that
between spelling and sound at whole-word level. The word body or body has
beenconsidered an important unit in English reading acquisition. For example
Treiman et al.






The orthographic Depth
Hypothesis claims that the difference in orthographic depth across writing
systems leads toprocessing differences for cognitive tasks such as naming and
lexical decision (Katz & Frost, 1992).It predicts that reading in a shallow
orthography utilises phonolo- gical coding more than reading in a deep
orthography because of its con- sistency between phonology and orthography. In
contrast, reading in a deep orthography is assumed to utilize more visual and
morphological elements.However, the ODH does not imply exclusive phonological
coding in reading a shallow orthography;rather both phonological coding and
visual orthographic coding are assumed in any writing system.Therefore,
orthographic depth is one of the factors that indicates a preference for the
use of phonological coding






Advantages and disadvantages:



What is the correct spelling
for a word? What is its correct pronunciation? What does a word mean? What kind
of writing system should one use to write a particular language? For speakers
of a language like English, which has been standardized for a relatively long
period of time, these questions may seem to be relatively straightforward. With
only rare exceptions, there are clear-cut answers to questions of these sorts.
For the correct spelling, pronunciation and meaning of a word, we rely on a
dictionary, which tells us what the socially accepted norms are. As for the
writing system to be used, again, we rely on a socially agreed-upon system.
Thus, English is written in the Latin alphabet rather than in the Cyrillic alphabet,
which is used, for example, for Russian. English could, of course, be written
in Cyrillic script or in Arabic or Hebrew script, or even with Chinese
characters. Although every writing system has its own advantages and
disadvantages, any language could, in principle, be represented in any kind of
orthography, and many language have been written using different orthographies
from time to time

Lucas.C,( 2001), The
Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages, Cambridge
University Press,


One of the disadvantages of
alphabetic systems is that basic literacy skills depend on children’s ability
to segment the sound stream into phonemes and matching graphemes to
corresponding phonemes will return to this problem when I present the
psycholinguistic grain size theory (Ziegler & Goswami, 2005, 2006)
below.Another drawback of alphabetic systems concerns the fact that it is
difficult to implement a fully alphabetic system in which there is a consistent
one-to-one correspondence between sounds and written symbols.It is along this
line that languages using alphabetic scripts differ.Inconsistencies in
orthographic systems can be the result of the fact that languages vary in how
transparent their spelling system is, in
other words, how consistent grapheme phoneme associa- tions are.In languages
such as Finnish and Turkish, the majority of sounds systematically map on to
letters, and these orthographic systems are called trans- parent.In
nontransparent,or in other words, deep orthographies phoneme-grapheme mappings
are inconsistent in that there are many-to-one sound-letter correspon- dences
or many-to-one letter correspondences.The difficulty with learning to read and
spell in English is that there are many-to-many sound-letter correspondence

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