Investigating orthographic effects on speech perception and speech production using a word learning approach

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Holloway, University of London
Department Name: Psychology

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Spoken language has primacy over written language. Before acquiring skills in reading and writing, most people have developed relative competence in understanding and producing speech.Thus it is unsurprising that experience with the sounds of words plays a powerful role in the adult and developing reader. The present research capitalised on recent methodological advances in the area of word learning to investigate the more intriguing question of whether the acquisition of literacy comes to influence one's spoken language abilities.



This small ESRC research grant provided support (£79,061) for us to develop an approach to investigating this question and to conduct two experiments using that approach. In these experiments, participants were trained on novel objects whose spoken names were spelled in a regular manner or in an unusual manner. Following a period of overnight consolidation, participants were given various speech perception and speech production tasks relevant to the novel words. Results showed a substantial impact of the spellings of the novel words on participants' spoken language processing of them. Specifically, participants showed slower speech processing of those novel words that were spelled in an unusual manner.



These findings support a conceptualisation of the language system as reflecting massive interactivity, whereby the spelling of a word can influence the way that it is aurally perceived or produced, and whereby the sound of a word can influence the way that it is read. They pose challenges for current theories of speech perception and speech production, and emphasise the importance of a sound and effective literacy strategy during schooling.
Exploitation Route already reported
Sectors Education

 
Description Mechanisms of orthographic word learning
Amount £58,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2013
 
Description Mechanisms of orthographic word learning
Amount £58,000 (GBP)
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2011 
End 08/2013
 
Description From specific examples to general knowledge in language learning 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at the meeting of the LiLAC researcher-practitioner network.

Developed new connections with relevant professionals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Mechanisms of skilled reading 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture at Royal Holloway, University of London

N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012