Prosodic sensitivity and Hangul word reading and writing among Korean kindergartners

Prosodic sensitivity and Hangul word reading and writing among Korean kindergartners

First Author: Jeung-Ryeul Cho -- Department of Psychology, Kyungnam University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Yeri Gu
Abstract / Summary: 

Few studies have dealt with relations of prosodic sensitivity to Hangul reading and writing among young Korean children. We examined this issue by testing 113 Korean children aged 4 and 5 with the three tasks of prosodic sensitivity, namely compound nouns task, intonation task and duration task along with the tasks of word reading and writing, and cognitive-linguistic skills such as phonological, orthographic and morphological awareness.
Results showed that, first, 5-year old children outperformed 4-year olds in all the tasks except compound nouns task of prosodic sensitivity. Second, correlation analyses showed that duration task was significantly associated with reading, writing, syllable awareness, coda awareness, morphological awareness and orthographic knowledge in 5-year old children only. Intonation task was significantly related with morphological awareness and word writing in 5-year old children. Third, hierarchical regression analyses showed that intonation and duration tasks of prosodic sensitivity significantly explained 4% of variance in word reading and 5% of variance in word writing over and above children’s age and nonverbal reasoning. Final beta coefficients showed that duration task contributed unique variance of word reading. In addition, we conducted simultaneous regression analyses where all the variables were entered in an equation: syllable and onset awareness and orthographic knowledge contributed unique variance of word reading whereas syllable awareness and orthographic knowledge uniquely contributed to word writing.
Our findings suggest that prosodic sensitivity plays a significant role in early Hangul word reading and writing among Korean kindergartners. Future studies may need to validate the role of prosodic sensitivity in Hangul reading and writing with diverse prosodic tasks.