Orthographic Fast-Mapping Across Time in 5- and 6-Year-Old Children Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the orthographic fast-mapping abilities of 5- and 6-year-old children across time to determine (a) growth in the ability to quickly acquire mental images of written words, (b) the effect of words' statistical regularities on the learning of written word images across ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 08, 2018
Orthographic Fast-Mapping Across Time in 5- and 6-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Victoria S. Henbest
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Kenn Apel
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Victoria S. Henbest: vhenbest@email.sc.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Megan Dunn Davison
    Editor: Megan Dunn Davison×
Article Information
Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 08, 2018
Orthographic Fast-Mapping Across Time in 5- and 6-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2018, Vol. 61, 2015-2027. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0379
History: Received October 5, 2017 , Revised February 20, 2018 , Accepted March 31, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2018, Vol. 61, 2015-2027. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0379
History: Received October 5, 2017; Revised February 20, 2018; Accepted March 31, 2018

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the orthographic fast-mapping abilities of 5- and 6-year-old children across time to determine (a) growth in the ability to quickly acquire mental images of written words, (b) the effect of words' statistical regularities on the learning of written word images across time, (c) whether the statistical regularities of words impact children's eye movements during an orthographic fast-mapping task, and (d) the relation among written word learning and future literacy skills.

Method Twenty-eight 5- and 6-year-old children viewed and listened to 12 short stories while their eye movements were recorded across 2 time points (approximately 3 months apart). At each time point, objects in the stories represented 12 novel pseudowords differing in their phonotactic and orthotactic probabilities. After viewing each story, the children were asked to spell and identify the target pseudowords; they also completed a battery of literacy measures.

Results The children were able to quickly acquire mental orthographic representations of the novel written pseudowords as evidenced by their ability to identify and spell the target pseudowords after viewing the stories. This ability was related to future literacy performance and significantly improved over time. Performance on the orthographic fast-mapping tasks and the children's eye movements at Time 2 were influenced by the words' linguistic properties.

Conclusions This study adds to accumulating evidence that orthographic fast-mapping is largely influenced by the orthotactic probabilities of words. These findings, taken together with those from previous investigations, provide a rich amount of evidence indicating that children are statistical learners when developing their orthographic knowledge.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by the University of South Carolina Social Sciences Grant Program awarded to Kenn Apel.
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