Children's use of analogy in reading and spelling
This thesis examines the role of analogy in the development of reading and spelling. Analogy is defined as using the spelling-sound pattern of one word (e.g. 'beak') to read or spell a word which shares a common orthographic sequence (e.g. 'bean' or 'peak'). Experiment 1 shows that 6-7 year old children can use analogies when required to select the correct spellings of words which are read to them. Experiment 2 shows that children aged 5-7 years can also use analogies to read new words aloud. Experiment 3 shows that analogy is used in the same way by children at three different reading levels (non-readers, 6 years and 7 years). Experiment 4 shows that 5-7 year old children can also use analogies to spell new words. It is concluded that the use of analogy does not develop, as it is available from the very beginning of learning to read and spell. Experiments 5, 6 and 7 examine the effect of varying spelling-sound consistency on analogies. Children taught pairs of words consistent in spelling and sound (e.g. 'peak-leak') make more analogies in reading than children taught pairs of words consistent in spelling but inconsistent in sound (e.g. 'peak-steak'). This difference does not occur in spelling. It is concluded that spelling-sound consistency only affects children's use of analogies in reading. Experiment 8 shows that children also use analogies to read new words which they encounter in reading prose. This shows that analogy is not restricted to single word reading. Experiment 9 compares analogies between words written in the same case and in mixed case. It shows that analogy relies on orthographic rather than visual information. These results suggest that children should be taught to use analogies to read and spell new words. The broader educational implications of analogy are also discussed. Note. This thesis contains approximately 91,000 words.