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How Children Learn to Write Words$
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Rebecca Treiman and Brett Kessler

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199907977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199907977.001.0001

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Graphic Form

Graphic Form

Chapter:
(p.104) Chapter 5 Graphic Form
Source:
How Children Learn to Write Words
Author(s):

Rebecca Treiman

Brett Kessler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199907977.003.0005

Writing is an object in itself—marks on a surface—as well as a representation of a linguistic structure. This chapter discusses the surface properties of words and texts, including the fact that writing is artificial, two dimensional, and non-iconic. It is composed of separable units that are laid out on straight lines that run in a specific direction, and the same unit rarely repeats itself more than once in succession. The chapter reviews research on how preschool children learn about the graphic properties of writing and how they distinguish writing from other two-dimensional displays, including pictures and numerals. The research shows that children in literate societies learn about some of the formal properties of writing well before they go to school. Although young children pay little attention to print when being read to from storybooks, other activities in the home environment promote the development of print awareness.

Keywords:   iconicity, directionality, repetition, letter, numeral, picture, home literacy environment, print awareness, book reading, preschool children

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