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See detailDevelopment of the Abilities to Acquire New Orthographic Representations from Grades 2 to 6
Binamé, Florence ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg

Conference (2014, May 27)

Unlike English, little attention has been accorded to orthographic learning in French which has a challenging spelling due to its high level of inconsistency. There is evidence that the mastery of ... [more ▼]

Unlike English, little attention has been accorded to orthographic learning in French which has a challenging spelling due to its high level of inconsistency. There is evidence that the mastery of alphabetic decoding is critical to acquire word-specific orthographic representations (Share 1995). It is also generally admitted that orthographic processing skills are involved in orthographic learning beyond the core phonological component. Even if these skills still remain underspecified, research particularly focuses on the sensitivity to orthographic constraints. While Pacton et al. (2013) have shown that graphotactic knowledge influences the learning of new spellings, little is known about the development of this knowledge over time. Our aim was to determine the developmental trajectory of orthographic word form acquisition abilities within the French orthography by assessing the speed of acquisition of new orthographic forms as well as the sensitivity to orthographic regularities. Five groups of forty French-speaking children from grades 2 to 6 took part in the study. We proposed two experimental tasks. The first consisted of an orthographic learning of 10 new orthographic forms (inconsistent in spelling) by using a repeated spelling paradigm. In practice, children were firstly asked to read aloud each item once. Then, the experimenter dictated each item ten times in a mixed order. The capacity of retention of the new representations was assessed one week later with a dictation task. The second task aimed at determining the sensitivity to different French orthographic regularities by means of an orthographic choice task containing 62 pairs of non-words homophones. Moreover, general reading and spelling abilities were also assessed. Results show that the speed of orthographic learning and the capacity of long-term retention significantly increase during the first years but do not differ anymore between grades 4-5 and 5-6, suggesting that older children have reached a nearly maximal potential in their learning capacities. Nevertheless, the general orthographic abilities, which are more dependent on scholar knowledge, continue to develop significantly during school years. Furthermore, sensitivity to orthographic regularities increases significantly only from grade 2 to 3, indicating that children as soon as 9 years-old are already able to extract different graphotactic patterns of their writing system. Pacton, S., Sobaco, A., Fayol, M., & Treiman, R. (2013). How does graphotactic knowledge influence children’s learning of new spellings? Frontiers in Psychology, 4, 1-10. Share, D. (1995). Phonological recoding and self-teaching: sine qua non of reading acquisition. Cognition 55, 151-218. [less ▲]

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See detailA predictive battery of literacy acquisition for children in third year kindergarten
Gillet, Sophie ULg; Binamé, Florence ULg; Martinetti, Julie et al

Poster (2014)

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See detailOrthographic learning in adult skilled readers
Binamé, Florence ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg

Poster (2013, September 21)

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See detailThe acquisition of new orthographic representations among dyslexic children
Binamé, Florence ULg; Defraigne, Aurélie; Poncelet, Martine ULg

Poster (2012, July 14)

Purpose – In developmental dyslexia, spelling deficits have been much less explored than reading deficits, although the former tend to be more persistent than the latter. The aim of this study was to ... [more ▼]

Purpose – In developmental dyslexia, spelling deficits have been much less explored than reading deficits, although the former tend to be more persistent than the latter. The aim of this study was to explore the ability to acquire new orthographic representations through different learning conditions in dyslexic children. Method – Fifteen dyslexic French-speaking children (mean chronological age: 11; 4 years; mean reading age: 7; 6 years), 15 chronological age (CA) and 15 reading age (RA) matched controls participated in the study. Their ability to acquire new orthographic representations was assessed through different learning conditions: isolated pseudowords decoding, text reading with embedded target pseudowords and writing of pseudowords after presentation in their visual form associated or not to a semantic representation. In each condition, ten target pseudowords were presented six times. Orthographic learning was measured by a dictation of the targets immediately after the learning session and one week later. Results – Orthographic learning of dyslexics was significantly impaired and decreased more over time relative to CA group but not to RA group. Otherwise, dyslexics, as other groups, performed better when learning conditions consisted in writing pseudowords than in decoding them. Furthermore the condition associating a semantic representation to the pseudowords did not enhance the performances in any group. Conclusion – These results confirm that decoding abilities are essential to develop orthographic representations and suggest that writing is a powerful learning mechanism in dyslexic as in normal readers. By contrast, a semantic representation seems not to support the development of orthographic representations. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of the effect of learning to read in English or in Dutch on the acquisition of the French orthographic code in French-speaking children attending immersion school programs.
Binamé, Florence ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg; Guyon, Charline

Poster (2012, May 10)

Most of the children attending bilingual immersion school programs in the French Community of Belgium learn to read in the immersion language before learning to read in their native language. This study ... [more ▼]

Most of the children attending bilingual immersion school programs in the French Community of Belgium learn to read in the immersion language before learning to read in their native language. This study aimed to explore the effect of learning to read in a second language having a transparent (Dutch) versus an opaque (English) orthographic code, on the later acquisition of French spelling. Because literacy acquisition depends on the orthographic depth of the code, the hypothesis is that learning to spell in a transparent language such as Dutch would promote the acquisition of the more opaque French spelling, by transferring the phonological recoding process. Contrariwise, the acquisition of French spelling would be less easy if learners were first immersed in very opaque spelling such as English. Participants were 182 third and fourth-graders immersed in Dutch or English, and monolingual French speakers (control group). Their French spelling skills were tested by words and non-words dictation. Results showed that the performance of Dutch immersed children was not significantly inferior to controls, which is not the case for English immersed children. This corroborates the fact that learning to spell in a more transparent orthographic code than French has a subsequent benefit on its acquisition. [less ▲]

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See detailLexical and inflectional spelling abilities in French : Same or different ?
Binamé, Florence ULg; Poncelet, Martine ULg

Poster (2011, May 27)

Inflectional spelling abilities have been less extensively studied than lexical spelling abilities and the relationship between these two types of spelling abilities is poorly understood. In this study ... [more ▼]

Inflectional spelling abilities have been less extensively studied than lexical spelling abilities and the relationship between these two types of spelling abilities is poorly understood. In this study, we compared lexical and inflectional spelling abilities in 12-year-old children, by hypothesizing that attentional load may be particularly detrimental for sentence context-dependent inflectional spelling abilities, in contrast to sentence context-independent lexical spelling abilities. Ninety-five sixth graders had to write to dictation sentences containing orthographically inconsistent words as well as inflected words (plural nouns and verbs at the 3th person) in three different cognitive load conditions. In a medium load condition, a time constraint obliged the subjects to write the sentences as quickly as possible. In a high load condition, the participants had to write the sentences as quickly as possible while further carrying out calculation problems (additions). The minimal load condition corresponded to standard writing to dictation, with no time constraint or any secondary task. The number of spelling errors for orthographically inconsistent words (lexical spelling abilities) and inflected words (inflectional spelling abilities) was calculated for each condition. We observed that spelling performance for inconsistent words was not impacted by cognitive load. On the other hand, spelling performance for inflected words decreased significantly in the medium and high load conditions. These results suggest that inflectional spelling abilities are less proceduralized than lexical spelling abilities, and rely to a greater extent on cognitive control processes. [less ▲]

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