British Journal of Developmental Psychology

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Volume 6 Issue 1 (March 1988), Pages 1-111

Children's use of analogy in learning to spell (pages 21-33)

While recent work has shown that young children can use analogies to read new words from an early age (e.g. using ‘beak’ to read ‘peak’ Goswami, 1986), it has been suggested that orthographic analogies are not made in spelling until later in development (Campbell, 1985; Marsh & Desberg, 1983). Exp 1 showed that this was not the case, as children at the beginning stages of learning to spell (7 years) could make analogies from a clue word to new words. Exp 2 examined whether analogies in spelling could also be made from stored spelling knowledge. Two subsidiary questions were also considered: whether spelling‐sound consistency would affect children's use of analogy, as it does in reading (Goswami, 1987, in press), and how children decide whether an analogy in spelling is appropriate: while an analogy from ‘beak’ to ‘peak’ is valid in spelling, one from ‘beak’ to ‘meek’ is not. It is suggested that children may use their reading knowledge to decide whether an analogy is appropriate in spelling.

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