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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Acquisition of initial mental graphemic representations by children at risk for literacy development
Author: Kenn Apel
Institution: Florida State University
Author: Shurita Thomas-Tate
Institution: Florida State University
Author: Elizabeth B. Wilson-Fowler
Institution: Florida State University
Author: Danielle Brimo
Institution: Florida State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: We examined the acquisition of initial mental graphemic representations (MGRs) by 46 kindergarten children (mean age = 5 years, 9 months) at risk for literacy development because of low socioeconomic status. Using a storybook context, we exposed children to novel nonwords that varied in their phonotactic and orthotactic probabilities and then assessed the children's development of initial MGRs through spelling and reading recognition tasks. The children developed some initial MGRs but less than past reports of children from middle socioeconomic status backgrounds. Children with more advanced word recognition abilities developed more initial MGRs than their peers with less advanced word recognition skills. Like previous reports, the words' linguistic properties affected initial MGR acquisition and MGR acquisition ability predicted reading and spelling achievement above other known predictors. The results speak to the importance of increasing the print and orthographic knowledge of children at-risk for adequate literacy development.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 33, Issue 2.

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