The relationship between phonological awareness and word reading accuracy in Oriya and English: A Study of Oriya-speaking fifth-graders
Mishra, R. and Stainthorp, R. (2007) The relationship between phonological awareness and word reading accuracy in Oriya and English: A Study of Oriya-speaking fifth-graders. Journal of Research in Reading, 30 (1). pp. 23-27.
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2006.00326.x
This study investigated the relationships between phonological awareness and reading in Oriya and English. Oriya is the official language of Orissa, an eastern state of India. The writing system is an alphasyllabary. Ninety-nine fifth grade children (mean age 9 years 7 months) were assessed on measures of phonological awareness, word reading and pseudo-word reading in both languages. Forty-eight of the children attended Oriya-medium schools where they received literacy instruction in Oriya from grade 1 and learned English from grade 2. Fifty-one children attended English-medium schools where they received literacy instruction in English from grade 1 and in Oriya from grade 2. The results showed that phonological awareness in Oriya contributed significantly to reading Oriya and English words and pseudo-words for the children in the Oriya-medium schools. However, it only contributed to Oriya pseudo-word reading and English word reading for children in the English-medium schools. Phonological awareness in English contributed to English word and pseudo-word reading for both groups. Further analyses investigated the contribution of awareness of large phonological units (syllable, onsets and rimes) and small phonological units (phonemes) to reading in each language. The data suggest that cross-language transfer and facilitation of phonological awareness to word reading is not symmetrical across languages and may depend both on the characteristics of the different orthographies of the languages being learned and whether the first literacy language is also the first spoken language.