The Role of Phonological Processing and Oral Language in the Acquisition of Reading Skills in Devanagari
We examined the relative contributions of phonological processing and oral language on word and non-word reading abilities in Devanagari in 230 children from grades 1 to grade 5. Phonological skills were assessed using tasks of rhyming and syllable replacement while oral language was assessed using semantic and verbal fluency. Phonological awareness made independent contributions to word reading across all grades. In addition, across grades 1 and 2, akshara recognition significantly explained word reading while in grades 3–5, oral language fluency was uniquely associated with word reading performance. Our study provides new insights on reading acquisition in Devanagari and adds to a growing body of literature on reading in akshara orthographies.
KeywordsAkshara Devanagari Fluency India Oral Orthography Phonological
The authors would like to acknowledge M. Joshi for valuable comments on the manuscript, Geet Oberoi (Orkids Centre for Learning Disabilities), Bhoomika R. Kar (University of Allahabad), Kate Currawala (Maharashtra Dyslexia Association) and Kshipra Vaidya (Shanta Vaidya Memorial Foundation) for data collection and Cognitive Science Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, India, for financial support.
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