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Spelling Errors in French Elementary School Students: A Linguistic Analysis

Joye, Nelly and Broc, Lucie and Marshall, Chloë Ruth and Dockrell, Julie Elizabeth (2022) 'Spelling Errors in French Elementary School Students: A Linguistic Analysis.' Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65 (9). pp. 3456-3470. ISSN 1092-4388

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Purpose: This study offers the first description of misspellings across elementary school using the Phonological, Orthographic and Morphological Assessment of Spelling (POMAS), a linguistic framework based on Triple Word Form theory, adapted for French (POMAS-FR). It aims to test the “universality” of POMAS and its suitability to track development in French spelling. Method: One hundred ninety-four typically developing French children (Grades 1–5) produced a written narrative and words-to-dictation. These were analyzed for productivity and accuracy. Misspellings were then analyzed using POMAS-FR. Results: Productivity and accuracy were better in the later grades. POMAS-FR provided a novel framework for tracking error types in our French sample. The data showed a linear trend for text production, whereby the proportion of phonological errors decreased rapidly in the early grades, while orthographic errors decreased and morphological errors increased throughout elementary school. Words-to-dictation showed a more stable pattern, with a steady decrease in phonological errors, and a stable proportion of orthographic and morphological errors. The specific error types found within each linguistic category are described for both tasks. Conclusions: The POMAS-FR allowed for the characterization of linguistic knowledge involved in learning to spell French across elementary school. Interplays between different types of linguistic knowledge were evident at all grades. In comparison with other writing systems, French text spelling competence relied heavily on morphological knowledge. These results suggest POMAS may be applied to other orthographic systems. It also highlights the importance of task and word selection for the qualitative evaluation of spelling.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Language; Language Tests; Students; Reading; Writing; Phonetics; Child
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 13:59
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 14:20

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