Literacy Acquisition in Korean Hangul: Investigating the Perceptual and Phonological Processing of Good and Poor Readers

Authored by: Jeesun Kim , Chris Davis

Handbook of Orthography and Literacy

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

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


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In this chapter we explore the role that the Korean alphabetic-syllabic writing system (Hangul) may play in the development of literacy by specifically considering its influence on good and poor readers. This discussion is presented in the context of research programs that have tried to determine whether a particular orthographic system may play a role in acquiring literacy. It must be recognized that different writing systems are often associated with different cultures that differ in the emphasis they place on the importance of literacy and education. In addition, the learning environments and teaching methods also differ from society to society. Given that so many factors can vary across different language contexts, the approach that we have taken has been to develop profiles of good and poor readers and to compare them across different languages. That is, we start by examining perceptual processes and move up to tasks that involve language processing. Somewhat surprisingly, it turned out that the performance of good and poor readers on perceptual tasks appears to vary from language to language whereas the association between poor reading skill and poor phonological processing is more constant.

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