The influence on children of the purpose of experiencing reading vocabulary: encoding-retrieval interactions in word perception
Fisher, Alison J.
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This research looked at conditions which result in the development of integrated letter code information in the acquisition of reading vocabulary. Thirty grade three children of normal reading ability acquired new reading words in a Meaning Assigned task and a Letter Comparison task, and worked to increase skill for known reading words in a Copy task. The children were then assessed on their ability to identify the letters in these words. During the test each stimulus word for each child was exposed for 100 msec., after which each child reported as many of his or her letters as he or she could. Familiar words, new words, and a single letter identification task served as within subject controls. Following this, subjects were assessed for word meaning recall of the Meaning Assigned words and word reading times for words in all condi tions • The resul ts supported an episodic model of word recognition in which the overlap between the processing operations employed in encoding a word and those required when decoding it affected decoding performance. In particular, the Meaning Assigned and Copy tasks. appeared to facilitate letter code accessibility and integration in new and familiar words respectively. Performance in the Letter Comparison task, on the other hand, suggested that subjects can process the elements of a new word without integrating them into its lexical structure. It was concluded that these results favour an episodic model of word recognition.