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Rhodes > English Language and Linguistics > Research > Foundation Phase Literacy in African Languages

Work in progress: Word recognition strategies amongst isiXhosa/English bilingual learners: the interaction of orthography and LOLT

Date Released: Fri, 8 May 2015 11:59 +0200

Word recognition strategies amongst isiXhosa/English bilingual learners: the interaction of orthography and LOLT

 

 

Abstract: Word recognition is a major component of fluent reading (Aaron et al. 1999, Holm & Dodd 1997:199, Invenizzi & Hayes 2010) and involves an interaction of language structure, orthography and cognitive skills. This study examined reading strategies in isiXhosa and the transfer of these strategies to an additional language, English. IsiXhosa was chosen because of its agglutinative structure and conjunctive orthography. The results support the contention that reading strategies and cognitive skills are fine tuned to particular languages. Skills transfer occurs to a limited extent when the language of first literacy uses a transparent orthography, but is less predictable when the language of first literacy uses an opaque orthography. This study emphasizes that literacies in different languages present readers with different structural puzzles which require language-particular suites of cognitive reading skills.

Source:Private Papers.