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Error patterns in word reading among primary school children: A cross‐orthographic study

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A comparative investigation of word reading efficiency indicates that different strategies may be used by English and Swedish early readers. In a first study, 328 native English speakers from UK Years 3 and 6 completed a pen‐and‐paper word recognition task (the Wordchains test). Results were analysed for frequency and type of errors committed. A sample of 123 chronological‐age‐matched Swedish children carried out the same task on a matched Swedish test. For a sub‐sample of 68 English/Swedish pairs matched on word recognition score and sex, significant differences were observed in a comparison of average and low scorers from the two language groups. The English children attempted more task items and committed more errors, while the Swedish group corrected their errors more, suggesting a difference in approach to the task. A second study of a larger Swedish sample (241 participants) found the same pattern of errors as Study 1. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to the effects of orthographic depth and morphemic complexity. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: English; Swedish; Wordchains; error patterns; orthography; word recognition

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK 2: Department of Psychology, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden

Publication date: 2004-02-01

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