Writing allows people to convey information to others who are remote in time and space, vastly increasing the range over which people can cooperate and the amount they can learn. Mastering the writing system of one's language is crucial for success in a modern society. This book examines how children learn to write words. It provides a theoretical framework that integrates findings from a wide range of age groups-from children who are producing their first scribbles to experienced spellers who are writing complex words. To set the stage for these discussions, early chapters of the book consider the nature of writing systems and the nature of learning itself. The following chapters review various aspects of orthographic development, including the learning of symbol shapes and punctuation. Each chapter reviews research with learners of a variety of languages and writing systems, revealing underlying similarities. Discussions of how orthography is and should be taught are incorporated into each chapter, making the book of interest to educators as well as to psychologists, cognitive scientists, and linguists.
This book is unique in the range of topics and languages that it covers and the degree to which it integrates linguistic insights about the nature of writing systems with discussions of how people learn to use these systems. It is written in a scholarly yet accessible manner, making it suited for a wide audience.