The Acquisition of L2-English Spelling
Susana M. Doval-Suárez
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
The present study describes the orthographic interlanguage of Galician-Spanish under-graduates and pays special attention to the exploration of spelling errors in as far as they are indicators of the learners’ use of strategies. The author’s main assumption is that writing processes are also ruled by a grammar, and as a consequence, that learning to spell is a hypotheses-testing process.
The first part of the study provides the theoretical background of the book. Chapter 1 examines the linguistic approaches to the relationship between speech and writing. Chapter 2 presents a contrastive analysis of the different orthographic systems involved in the research. Chapter 3 provides the psycholinguistic background.
The second part of the study concentrates on the empirical analysis of the spelling data taken from 95 compositions and 30 dictations. Chapter 4 classifies, describes and explains the misspelling types identified in the composition sample, and is mainly devoted to the cross-sectional analysis of the four types of error mechanism (displacements, additions, omissions and substitutions), although a more detailed analysis of substitutions is attempted in terms of strategies. Finally, Chapter 5 is an ttempt to ascertain the psychological reality of the strategies of overgeneralisation by means of a dictation-test consisting of 20 non-words. The study closes with a summary of the main conclusions that can be drawn from the different chapters.
By providing the first full description of the orthographic interlanguage of Spanish learners of English, the book could contribute to establishing a typology of mechanisms and strategies of misspellings made by L2-English learners in general, and so it may serve to answer questions such as: how do subjects who have learned to read and write using a regular system cope with an irregular system such as the English one? or how does L1-orthographic knowledge interact with L2-orthography learning?
ISBN 9783895868221. LINCOM Studies in Language Acquisition 10. 275pp. 2004.