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Reading Reform Foundation (RRF) - Promoting Synthetic Phonics : Page Title
 

RRF Newsletter 55 back to contents
Research DigestJennifer Chew

Longcamp, M., Zerbato-Poudou, M-T., Velay, J-L., 2005. The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children: A comparison between handwriting and typing. Acta Psychologica 119 (2005) 67-79. Working in France, the authors ‘trained two groups of 38 children (aged 3-5 years) to copy letters of the alphabet either by hand or by typing them’. The training lasted for only one and a half hours spread over three weeks, so it was not a full-blown literacy programme. The researchers found that ‘in the older children, the handwriting training gave rise to a better letter recognition than the typing training'. The same training was ‘not efficient for the children younger than fifty months’, however, possibly because they were less cognitively mature or because they lacked the fine motor control necessary for forming letters. One might conclude that enthusiasm for getting primary-school children in the UK and elsewhere on to computers may not be helping their literacy development – it would be better to give them practice in writing letters by hand.

 

 

 

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