Learning to Read a Semitic Abjad: The Triplex Model of Hebrew Reading Development.

Published on Sep 1, 2018in Journal of Learning Disabilities
· DOI :10.1177/0022219417718198
David L. Share41
Estimated H-index: 41
(University of Haifa),
Amalia Bar-On5
Estimated H-index: 5
(TAU: Tel Aviv University)
We introduce a model of Hebrew reading development that emphasizes both the universal and script-specific aspects of learning to read a Semitic abjad. At the universal level, the study of Hebrew reading acquisition offers valuable insights into the fundamental dilemmas of all writing systems—balancing the competing needs of the novice versus the expert reader (Share, 2008). At the script-specific level, pointed Hebrew initially employs supplementary vowel signs, providing the beginning reader a consistent, phonologically well-specified script while helping the expert-to-be unitize words and morphemes via (consonantal) spelling constancy. A major challenge for the developing Hebrew reader is negotiating the transition from pointed to unpointed Hebrew, with its abundance of homographs. Our triplex model emphasizes three phases of early Hebrew reading development: a progression from lower-order, phonological (sublexical) sequential spelling-to-sound translation (Phase 1, Grade 1) to higher-order, string-leve...
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