chapter  13
9 Pages

Word Recognition Development in Children

WORD RECOGNITION DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN As children learn to read, they need to acquire a vast repertoire of associations among printed words, their pronunciations, and their meanings. One way of going about this is to develop a system of rules for converting letters into sounds. However, in a language such as English, which contains many irregularly spelled words (e.g., yacht), such a procedure is not always successful. It is generally believed, therefore, that children must also establish a system for storing word-specific knowledge. This way when a familiar written word is encountered, access to information about it is gained automatically and without the use of conversion rules. Although debate continues about the precise nature of this representational system (e.g., Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993; Coltheart, Rastle, Perry, Langdon, & Ziegler, 2001; Plaut, McClelland, Seidenberg, & Patterson, 1996), a rapid and automatic word recognition procedure of some form is dominant in most models of skilled reading.