Children’s concepts of linguistic features

  • John Downing


The second major category of problem-solving tasks that face the child in learning to read is understanding the technical linguistic concepts needed for reasoning about the relationships between speech and writing. Once again an early pointer was given by Piaget in his 1926 publication. He commented on a report that ‘the Golahs of Liberia do not know that their language is made up of words’. They ‘have never consciously realized their existence nor the constancy of their meaning: just like those children who can make a correct use of certain difficult terms in their speech, and are yet incapable of understanding these terms taken by themselves.’ In this problem also the past ten or twenty years have seen an escalating production of research bringing us to the brink of a new theoretical insight or, at least, a recognition of a new important question about the learning-to-read process.


Reading Instruction Reading Achievement Featural Concept Phoneme Segmentation Phoneme Boundary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© John Downing 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Downing
    • 1
  1. 1.University of VictoriaCanada

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