Oral vocabulary and reading new words: examining the mispronunciation correction process
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 19:09 authored by Lyndall Murray
The irregularity of many words in English (e.g., yacht) can present problems for developing readers as they encounter new printed words. It is thought that when children cannot decode words easily, they use their oral vocabulary to help adjust a mispronounced word and that they may draw on other sources, such as sentence context, to assist. This thesis reviewed the literature on connections between oral vocabulary and word reading and on the process of mispronunciation correction to examine how children adjust partially decoded words. An empirical study then sought evidence for a mispronunciation correction mechanism operating dynamically as children read novel words in text. Year 5 children were orally trained on a set of novel words and then read them silently in sentences. Oral familiarity, regularity, and context were manipulated and children’s eye movements were monitored. The findings revealed that when children see orally known words for the first time in text, irregular words undergo additional processing compared to regular words, and are subsequently read aloud more accurately compared to untrained irregular words. These results are consistent with a mispronunciation correction mechanism being applied as children read novel words.