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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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The Order of the Alphabet

The Order of the Alphabet

(p.133) Chapter 7 The Order of the Alphabet
How Children Learn to Write Words

Rebecca Treiman

Brett Kessler

Oxford University Press

The basic units of a writing system—letters in the case of an alphabet—have a conventional order. The units of some scripts (e.g., Arabic and south Asian scripts) are ordered according to visual or phonological similarity, but the order of the Latin alphabet is basically arbitrary. Still, it is often assumed that learners of the Latin script should become familiar with the letters in their conventional alphabetical order before learning to read and spell. Children often learn their ABCs through the singing of alphabet songs and the reading of alphabet books. Children’s knowledge of alphabetical order influences their knowledge about letters and their early spelling. For example, prephonological spellers may produce spellings that contain sequences of letters in alphabetical order but that do not represent the sounds in words.

Keywords:   alphabet, alphabet book, alphabet song, letter, letter knowledge, prephonological spelling, orthographic similarity, phonological similarity, ordering, ABCs

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