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Learning to write letters

Title: Learning to write letters: examination of student and letter factors.
Name(s): Puranik, Cynthia S, author
Petscher, Yaacov, author
Lonigan, Christopher J, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Journal Article
Date Issued: 2014-12-01
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Learning to write the letters of the alphabet is an important part of learning how to write conventionally. In this study, we investigated critical factors in the development of letter-writing skills using exploratory item response models to simultaneously account for variance in responses due to differences between students and between letters. Letter-writing skills were assessed in 415 preschool children aged 3 to 5 years. At the student level, we examined the contribution of letter-name knowledge, letter-sound knowledge, and phonological awareness to letter-writing skills. At the letter level, we examined seven intrinsic and extrinsic factors in understanding how preschool children learn to write alphabet letters: first letter of name, letters in name, letter order, textual frequency, number of strokes, symmetry, and letter type. Results indicated that variation in letter-writing skills was accounted for more by differences between students rather than by differences between letters, with most of the variability accounted for by letter-name knowledge and age. Although significant, the contribution of letter-sound knowledge and phonological awareness was relatively small. Student-level mechanisms underlying the acquisition of letter-writing skills are similar to the mechanisms underlying the learning of letter sounds. However, letter characteristics, which appear to play a major role in the learning of letter names and letter sounds, did not appear to influence learning how to write letters in a substantial way. The exception was if the letter was in the child's name.
Identifier: FSU_pmch_25181463 (IID), 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.07.009 (DOI), PMC5102622 (PMCID), 25181463 (RID), 25181463 (EID), S0022-0965(14)00149-0 (PII)
Keywords: Alphabet knowledge, Emergent writing, Letter writing, Multilevel models, Preschool, Writing
Grant Number: P50 HD052120
Publication Note: This NIH-funded author manuscript originally appeared in PubMed Central at
Subject(s): Age Factors
Child, Preschool
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Journal of experimental child psychology.
Issue: vol. 128

Choose the citation style.
Puranik, C. S., Petscher, Y., & Lonigan, C. J. (2014). Learning to write letters: examination of student and letter factors. Journal Of Experimental Child Psychology. Retrieved from