Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 337–358

Morphological awareness in Spanish-speaking English language learners: within and cross-language effects on word reading

  • Gloria Ramirez
  • Xi Chen
  • Esther Geva
  • Heidi Kiefer
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11145-009-9203-9

Cite this article as:
Ramirez, G., Chen, X., Geva, E. et al. Read Writ (2010) 23: 337. doi:10.1007/s11145-009-9203-9

Abstract

This study investigated within and cross-language effects of morphological awareness on word reading among Spanish-speaking children who were English Language Learners. Participants were 97 Spanish-speaking children in grade 4 and grade 7. Morphological awareness in Spanish and in English was evaluated with two measures of derivational morphology. The results showed that Spanish morphological awareness contributed unique variance to Spanish word reading after controlling for other reading related variables. English morphological awareness also explained unique variance in English word reading. Cross-linguistic transfer of morphological awareness was observed from Spanish to English, but not from English to Spanish. These results suggest that morphological awareness is important for word reading in Spanish, a shallow orthography with a complex morphological system. They also suggest that morphological awareness developed in children’s L1 is associated with word reading in English, their L2.

Keywords

Morphological awareness Reading English language learners Literacy Cross-linguistic Word reading 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gloria Ramirez
    • 1
  • Xi Chen
    • 1
  • Esther Geva
    • 1
  • Heidi Kiefer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Applied PsychologyOntario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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