The Acquisition of Literacy in Italian

Authored by: Remo Job , Francesca Peressotti , Claudio Mulatti

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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People at different times and in different places have come up with different solutions to the problem of how to express graphically the sounds of language. Furthermore, languages differ greatly in the extent to which they rely on different mechanisms to encode relevant information. For example, some rely heavily on morphological devices whereas others do so to a much lesser degree. Thus reading and writing and their acquisition may be sensitive to, and affected by, different constraints brought about by the type of language in which people become literate. In this chapter, we examine some issues on this topic with respect to Italian. The chapter is organized as follows: First, some features of the language relevant for reading and writing are outlined. Next, some empirical data on the strategies Italian children use in learning to read and write are presented. Finally, some of the difficulties encountered by children in the acquisition of literacy are discussed.

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