chapter  7
Facets of metalinguistic awareness related to reading development in Hebrew: Evidence from monolingual and bilingual children
WithESTHER GEVA
Pages 34

It has been argued that readers of different languages face different cognitive and metalinguistic demands when they read and write, and that these differences are motivated by typological differences in orthographic and language features (Akamatsu, 1999; Feldman, 1987; Frost, 2005; Geva & Siegel, 2000; Koda, 1999; Leong & Tamaoka, 1998; Oney et al., 1997; Saiegh-Haddad & Geva, in press; Seymour et al., 2003; Shimron, 1993; 2006; Taylor & Taylor, 1983; Wang & Koda, 2005). The “orthographic depth hypothesis” (Feldman, 1987; Katz & Frost, 1992) has been used as a framework for discussing cross-orthography similarities and differences in word recognition processes. Researchers have argued that pre-lexical phonology plays a more important role in lexical access in “shallow” or “transparent” orthographies such as Spanish or voweled Hebrew, in which there is a direct and consistent grapheme to phoneme correspondence, than in orthographies such as English, where the mapping of graphemes to phonemes is more opaque or “deep.” In languages that are orthographically transparent, the lexical outcome of assembling a series of matched graphemes-phonemes into words is unequivocal. Developmental studies have shown that individuals rely also on other orthographic, visual, and linguistic information sources to achieve accurate and quick lexical access in word recognition (Breznitz, 2006). Reliance on these cognitive resources varies as a function of the simplicity of the phonological structure of a given language as well as the extent to which direct training in phoneme awareness has been provided (Ziegler & Goswami, 2005).