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Title: Reading difficulties in a non-dominant language : a study of two interventions for multilingual children.
Author: Nag-Arulmani, Sonali.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3438 9147
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2000
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Relatively little is known about the reading acquisition process in a non-dominant language in multilingual children. This study examined reading difficulties in a nondominant language, English, among 91 Grade three children whose dominant spoken language was Kannada, a South Indian language. Three sets of research questions were addressed: a) the associations between single word reading in the non-dominant language and decoding skills, phonological skills, language proficiency levels and working memory, b) the associations of phonological processing across language systems (the non-dominant reading language and the dominant spoken language) and with single word reading, and c) the relative effectiveness of a fifteen hour phonological skills intervention when compared with a language exposure intervention on reading outcomes. The results extended the findings from the monolingual literature of close links between single word reading, decoding and phonological skills. The role of language proficiency was especially evident at higher levels of reading attainment, replicating models of reading developed on anglo-centric samples. Lower single word reading skills were also found to be associated with lower working memory again extending associations found in the early stages of reading development of monolingual children. The literacy culture in India and its impact on specific reading comprehension strategies and the labelling of reading difficulty are discussed. It is in the study of the mixed phonological domain that limitations of monolingual frameworks begin to show. The mixed language phonological domain was found to be characterised by close associations across language systems and sharing of underlying phonological abilities. Factor analysis of six phoneme level tasks found a two-factor phonological structure which have been labelled as explicit, whole word manipulation ability and implicit, partial manipulation ability. The implications of these findings for a model of the mixed language phonological domain, and for interventions and early screening are discussed. In the intervention study, positive training effects were found with the Phonological Intervention on the skills triad of single word reading, phonological skills and decoding skill. The unique role of the dominant language phonology on phonological, decoding strategies and implications for planning phonological interventions in a non-dominant language are discussed. The Language Exposure condition failed to show any intervention specific impact on the outcome variables. The possibility of the language exposure intervention being most suitable after decoding skills are firmly in place is discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Second language; Phonological intervention; Phonological skills