The road to reading for South African learners: the role of orthographic depth

Malda, Maike, Nel, Carisma and van de Vijver, Fons J. R. (2014) The road to reading for South African learners: the role of orthographic depth. Learning and Individual Differences, 30 34-45. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2013.11.008

Author Malda, Maike
Nel, Carisma
van de Vijver, Fons J. R.
Title The road to reading for South African learners: the role of orthographic depth
Journal name Learning and Individual Differences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1041-6080
Publication date 2014-02-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.lindif.2013.11.008
Volume 30
Start page 34
End page 45
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract The study examined profiles of reading skills and cognitive skills for South African children from schools that differed in opacity of medium of instruction. The sample included 122 third graders instructed in Afrikaans (transparent language), 109 in Setswana (transparent), and 127 in English (opaque). The link between cognitive skills (short-term memory and working memory) and reading comprehension was expected to be mediated by phonological awareness, word fluency, text fluency, and vocabulary. Multigroup invariance analyses revealed differences in strength of relations between cognitive skills and reading skills across mediums of instruction. For English, phonological awareness played a smaller and vocabulary a larger role compared to Afrikaans and Setswana, largely in line with theories on orthographic depth and reading; furthermore, predictors of reading comprehension showed weaker interrelations in Afrikaans and Setswana. Our study stresses the need to align reading instruction with orthography.
Keyword Child
Orthographic depth
South Africa
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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