Literacy Acquisition in Norwegian

Authored by: Bente E Hagtvet , Turid Helland , Solveig-Alma H Lyster

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

Print publication date:  September  2005
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805846522
eBook ISBN: 9780203824719
Adobe ISBN: 9781136781353


 Download Chapter



Norwegian belongs to the North German group of the Indo-European languages. It has developed from Old Norse with a rich morphology into a modern language with less morphological complexity. Morphemic reading, however, is still needed. Norwegian orthography is described as semi-transparent. Studies of Norwegian children show that even subjects with dyslexia break the alphabetic code rather easily. However, automaticity of decoding skills appears to be generally slow to develop in Norwegian children. This developmental picture is supported by large-scale international comparative studies in which a fair proportion of older Norwegian children (ages 14-15 years) read laboriously, and with limited comprehension. This chapter discusses the role of orthography from a developmental perspective. It argues that largely because of the fairly systematic sound—letter correspondence of Norwegian orthography, learning the sound—letter relationships associated with early reading is easy even for children at risk of developing reading problems. However, even subtle variations in phonological qualities such as word length and minor irregularities in degree of phoneme—grapheme correspondence appear to have a negative impact on reading speed and fluency and, in many cases, reading comprehension as well. How these issues interact with the individual child's linguistic and cognitive skills and with the teaching methods used in school is not clear and should be the focus of future research.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.