Alexandra Schmitterer and Sascha Schroeder

The recognition of letters in emergent literacy in german: Evidence from a longitudinal study.

Journal of Research in Reading

Background German children do not formally learn letter‐sounds before school entry. In this study, we evaluated kindergarten children's sensitivity to the frequency of letters and visually similar symbols in child‐directed texts, how it develops and whether it predicts early reading abilities. Method In a longitudinal study from kindergarten to primary school, children were asked to judge whether a presented alphabetic (e.g., A) or non‐alphabetic symbol (e.g., #) was a letter. High and low frequency was varied for both types of symbols. Furthermore, we analysed whether later reading abilities were predicted by this letter judgement ability. Results Before school entry, children had difficulties in distinguishing frequent non‐alphabetic symbols from letters. Furthermore, letter judgement in kindergarten predicted reading abilities in first grade. Conclusions Children derive some knowledge about letters from the frequency of co‐occurrence of letters and symbols in texts. The ability to distinguish letters from non‐alphabetic symbols predicts early reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2017-24776-001. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Schmitterer, Alexandra M.A.; Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. Other Publishers: Blackwell Publishing. Release Date: 20170608. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Language: English. Major Descriptor: No terms assigned. Classification: Educational Psychology (3500). Publication History: Accepted Date: Apr 14, 2017; First Submitted Date: Jul 25, 2016. Copyright Statement: UKLA. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2017.