Title of presentation: Effects of morphological awareness training on the development of morphological strategy use in polymorphemic word spelling among 4th grade French-speaking students

Title of presentation: Effects of morphological awareness training on the development of morphological strategy use in polymorphemic word spelling among 4th grade French-speaking students

First Author: Anila Fejzo -- UQAM
Additional authors/chairs: 
Rihab Saidane; Kathleen Whissell-Turner; Nathalie Chapleau
Keywords: Morphological knowledge, Morphological Awareness, Spelling, French
Abstract / Summary: 

French orthography is driven by two principles, including morphological principle. Because of its opacity, this orthography puts the spellers in a problem-solving situation. In a problem-solving situation, individuals use knowledge on the basis of their understanding of the problem’s underlying principles. As a result, French students are prompted to use morphological knowledge when they spell. The conscious use of morphological knowledge is called morphological strategy.
Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of morphological awareness training on the development of morphological strategy use in polymorpmemic word spelling among French-speaking fourth-graders.
Method : In this study, 139 French-speaking fourth-graders (mean age 9 years and 4 months) were recruited from three schools in the Montreal area. The experimental group (N= 56) was trained on morpheme meaning and form. Measures of morphological awareness and polymorphemic word spelling and interviews on morphological strategy use in spelling task were conducted at pre- and post tests.
Results : One-way repeated measures ANOVAs results indicated that morphological awareness training had significant effects on morphological strategy use (F,1,136=100.509, p<0.001), on morphological awareness (F1,136=35.995, p<0.001) and on polymorphemic word spelling (F1,136=37.571, p<0.001). Moreover, regression analysis showed that morphological strategy use was significant predictive of spelling performance, whereas morphological awareness did not.
Conclusion : Our results extend those of studies demonstrating positive effects of MA training on spelling. Moreover, they show greater contribution of morphological strategy use, compared to that of morphological awareness, on polymorphemic word spelling.