Phonological awareness and learning to read in Afrikaans: The role of working memory

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title Phonological awareness and learning to read in Afrikaans: The role of working memory
Creator Scheepers, Marizel Geertsema, Salomé le Roux, Mia Graham, Marien
Subject Speech-Language Pathology Afrikaans; beginning readers; decoding strategies; phonemic awareness; phonological awareness; transparent orthography; working memory
Description Background: Phonological awareness (PA) skills and working memory (WM) are universally regarded as crucial precursors to skilled reading. The orthography of the language being read influences the ease with which a child learns to read. Research has been undertaken on reading in languages with an opaque orthography. Research on the role of PA and WM in Afrikaans with its transparent orthography is limited.Aim: The study investigated and described the role of WM in the acquisition of PA and ultimately reading in Afrikaans.Setting: The research study was conducted in private schools with Afrikaans as the language of learning and teaching (LoLT) in Grade 2.Method: A descriptive research design with correlational components was applied.Results: Phonetic decoding was employed more than eidetic decoding. Word reading skills developed rapidly and exceeded the expectations in the first two quarters of the year. Participants who read the comprehension test fluently scored higher on the questions than those who did not read fluently. The correlation between WM and reading comprehension was not statistically significant. The statistically significant correlation between WM and word reading seems to be present in both transparent and opaque orthographies. The statistically significant correlation between PA and word reading was not found in other transparent orthographies. The correlation between phonemic awareness (PhA) and word reading is the same in other orthographies.Conclusion: The statistically significant correlation between WM and word reading indicates that WM supports reading development as the ability to hold information in memory supports phoneme-grapheme associations.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2021-08-16
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Descriptive; correlational components
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v11i1.947
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 11, No 1 (2021); 11 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
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Coverage Pretoria; South Africa Learning to read Grade 2; Afrikaans children
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Marizel Scheepers, Salomé Geertsema, Mia le Roux, Marien Graham