Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Linnea C. Ehri

Subject Categories

Educational Psychology


context, Nonnative English-speakers, orthographic mapping, sight words, word class


This study investigated three questions: 1.) Does training in orthographic mapping better support flashcard reading over a control group, 2.) Does providing meaning clarifications during flashcard reading better support learning over not providing meanings, 3.) Does grammatical word class affect word learning, and 4.) Do these manipulations affect word learning differently in native and nonnative speakers? Additionally, this study investigated whether literacy and language skills predict the reading of words presented in isolation. Native (n = 40) and nonnative (n = 41) English-speaking kindergarten students' were randomly assigned to either the orthographic mapping or control condition prior to flashcard word reading. Students in the orthographic mapping condition were trained in small groups on mapping grapheme-phoneme relations in words for three consecutive days. Students in the control group participated in an interactive read aloud for the equivalent amount of time. After the third day of training, individual students practiced learning to read content and function words on flashcards. In one condition words were taught in meaningful sentences. In the other condition words were taught in isolation. Results of ANOVAs demonstrated that both native and nonnative speakers were better able to read words when they were taught in isolation than in sentences, and native speakers were better able to spell words when taught in isolation than in sentences. However, both groups were better able to embed words in sentences when words were taught with meaning clarifying sentences than in isolation. Both native and nonnative speakers performed better with content words than with function words. Full alphabetic readers performed better than partial alphabetic readers on orthographic mapping, reading, and spelling words regardless of language proficiency status. Also, results of hierarchical linear regressions demonstrated that language proficiency accounted for a significant amount of unique variance in reading function words in isolation, but this was not the case for reading content words in isolation.