The analysis of free writing, vocabulary, and dyslexia in English as a native and foreign language (English vs. Polish students)
More details
Hide details
Submission date: 2019-01-22
Final revision date: 2019-02-26
Acceptance date: 2019-02-26
Online publication date: 2019-03-06
Publication date: 2019-03-07
Health Psychology Report 2019;7(1):57–68
The aim of our study was to compare free writing skills in English as a native language and a foreign language (in English and Polish students respectively). English and Polish have dissimilar orthographies in terms of grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules that is why we were curious to examine whether native and foreign speakers of English exhibit some similarities and/or differences in terms of writing and vocabulary, controlling the dyslexia factor at the same time.

Participants and procedure:
28 English junior high school students: 13 with dyslexia (ED), 15 without (END), and 32 Polish junior high school students: 16 with dyslexia (PD) and 16 without (PND) participated. They completed tests measuring free writing and vocabulary in English as a native (ED and END) and a foreign (PD and PND) language.

We found that both PD and PND knew fewer words of different difficulty, made more grammar errors, wrote shorter compositions, and composed shorter sentences than ED and END, demonstrating the influence of a NL and a negative linguistic transfer between synthetic Polish and analytical English. In a free writing task, tough, they committed an equal number of phonological and orthographic errors, probably choosing best-known words, which did not allow to demonstrate the expected deficits of students with dyslexia due to phonological deficit.

Generally, both PD and PND, despite having studied EFL for on average 7 years, failed to equal their ED and END peers’ performance in a simple free writing task. Dyslexia and/or related spelling errors correlated with vocabulary in both Polish and English students, confirming that dyslexia may limit one’s mental lexicon for both NL speakers and FL learners.

Anderson, R. C., Fielding, L., & Wilson, P. T. (1986). Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school. Champaign, IL; Cambridge, MA: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.
Awramiuk, E. (2006). Lingwistyczne podstawy początkowej nauki czytania i pisania po polsku [Linguistic bases for the initial learning of reading and writing in Polish]. Białystok: Transhumana.
Benson, C. (2002). Key concepts in ELT. Transfer/cross-linguistic influence. ELT Journal, 56, 68–70. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/56....
Berninger, V. W., Nielsen, K. H., Abbott, R. D., Wijsman, E., & Raskind, W. (2008). Writing problems in developmental dyslexia: under-recognized and under-treated. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.....
Bogdanowicz, M., Kalka, D., Karpińska, E., Sajewicz-Radtke, U., & Radtke, B. M. (2012). Bateria metod diagnozy przyczyn niepowodzeń szkolnych u uczniów gimnazjów. Bateria GIM [The battery of methods diagnosing reasons for school failures in junior high school students. GIM battery]. Gdańsk: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych i Pedagogicznych SEBG.
Bogdanowicz, K. M., Łockiewicz, M., Bogdanowicz, M., & Pachalska, M. (2014). Characteristics of cognitive deficits and writing skills of Polish adults with developmental dyslexia. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93, 78–83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijps....
Bonifacci, P., Canducci, E., Gravagna, G., & Palladino, P. (2017). English as a foreign language in bilingual language-minority children, children with dyslexia and monolingual typical readers. Dyslexia, 23, 181–206. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.15....
Brady, S. (1986). Short-term memory, phonological processing, and reading ability. Annals of Dyslexia, 36, 138–153. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF0264....
Caravolas, M., & Volín, J. (2001). Phonological spelling errors among dyslexic children learning a transparent orthography: the case of Czech. Dyslexia, 7, 229–245. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.20....
Connelly, V., Campbell, S., MacLean, M., & Barnes, J. (2006). Contribution of lower order skills to the written composition of college students with and without dyslexia. Developmental Neuropsychology, 29, 175–196.
Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research, 49, 222–251. https://doi.org/10.2307/116996....
Elbro, C., & Jensen, M. N. (2005). Quality of phonological representations, verbal learning, and phoneme awareness in dyslexic and normal readers. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 46, 375–384.
Eurydice (2005). Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe, 2005 Ediction. Raport Eurydice. Brussels: Eurydice European Unit.
Fawcett, A. J., & Nicolson, R. I. (2005). The Dyslexia Screening Test – Secondary. DST-S. London: Harcourt Assessment.
Frith, U., Lander, K., & Frith, C. (1995). Dyslexia and verbal fluency: more evidence for a phonological deficit. Dyslexia, 1, 2–11.
Gajda, S. (1999). O językowym planie wyrażania, czyli o... [On linguistic plan of expressing, that is on…]. In T. Gałkowski & G. Jastrzębowska (Eds.), Logopedia – pytania i odpowiedzi [Speech therapy – questions and answers] (pp. 27–36). Opole: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego.
Gajewska-Dyszkiewicz, A., Grudniewska, M., Kulon, F., Kutyłowska, K., Paczuska, K., Rycielska, L., & Szpotowicz, M. (2011). Europejskie Badanie Kompetencji Językowych ESLC. Raport krajowy [European Screening for Language Competences. State report]. Warszawa: Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych.
Goswami, U., Ziegler, J. C., & Richardson, U. (2005). The effects of spelling consistency on phonological awareness: a comparison of English and German. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 92, 345–365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp....
Hatcher, J., & Snowling, M. J. (2008). Hipoteza reprezentacji fonologicznych jako sposób rozumienia dysleksji: od teorii do praktyki [The phonological representations hypothesis of dyslexia: from theory to practice]. In G. Reid & J. Wearmouth (Eds.), Dysleksja. Teoria i praktyka [Dyslexia. Theory and practice] (pp. 103–120). Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.
Hatcher, J., Snowling, M. J., & Griffiths, Y. M. (2002). Cognitive assessment of dyslexic students in higher education. The British Journal Of Educational Psychology, 72, 119–133.
Helland, T., & Kaasa, R. (2005). Dyslexia in English as a second language. Dyslexia, 11, 41–60. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.28....
Hoien, T., Lundberg, I., Stanovich, K. E., & Bjaalid, I. K. (1995). Components of phonological awareness. Reading and Writing, 7, 171–188. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf0102....
ICD-10. (2000). Międzynarodowa Statystyczna Klasyfikacja Chorób i Problemów Zdrowotnych. Rewizja dziesiąta. Klasyfikacja zaburzeń psychicznych i zaburzeń zachowania w ICD-10. Opisy kliniczne i wskazówki diagnostyczne [International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. Tenth Revision. Classification of mental and behavioural disorders in ICD-10. Clinical findings and diagnostic cues]. Kraków-Warszawa: Vesalius.
Jaworowska, A., Matczak, A., & Stańczak, J. (2010). Diagnoza dysleksji. Aneks do przewodnika diagnostycznego. Normalizacja dla uczniów klasy V szkoły podstawowej [Dyslexia diagnosis. Annex to the diagnostic manual. Normalisation for the primary school studnents, year 5]. Warszawa: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych Polskiego Towarzystwa Psychologicznego.
Jones, M. W., Branigan, H. P., & Kelly, M. L. (2009). Dyslexic and nondyslexic reading fluency: rapid automatized naming and the importance of continuous lists. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 567–572. https://doi.org/10.3758/PBR.16....
Joshi, R. M., Treiman, R., Carreker, S., & Moats, L. C. (2008/2009). How words cast their spell: spelling instruction focused on language, not memory, improves reading and writing. American Educator, 32, 6–16, 42–43.
Krasowicz-Kupis, G. (2008). Psychologia dysleksji [The psychology of dyslexia]. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
Lindgren, S. A., & Laine, M. (2011). Multilingual dyslexia in university students: reading and writing patterns in three languages. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 25, 753–766. https://doi.org/10.3109/026992....
Lipowska, M., Bogdanowicz, M., & Buliński, L. (2008). Language skills in children with ADHD and developmental dyslexia. Acta Neuropsychologica, 6, 369–379.
Lyon, G. R., Shaywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, B. A. (2003). A definition of dyslexia. Defining dyslexia, comorbidity, teachers’ knowledge of language and reading. Annals of Dyslexia, 53, 1–14.
Łockiewicz, M., & Jaskulska, M. (2015). Mental lexicon, working memory, and L2 (English) vocabulary in Polish students with and without dyslexia. CEPS Journal, 5, 71–90.
Łockiewicz, M., & Jaskulska, M. (2016). Difficulties of Polish students with dyslexia in reading and spelling in English as L2. Learning and Individual Differences, 51, 256–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lind....
Łockiewicz, M., Jaskulska, M., & Fawcett, A. J. (submitted, a). Decoding and word recognition in English as a native and a foreign language in students with and without dyslexia.
Łockiewicz, M., Jaskulska, M., & Fawcett, A. J. (submitted, b). Single word spelling in English as a native and a foreign language in students with and without dyslexia.
Masoura, E. V., & Gathercole, S. E. (2005). Contrasting contributions of phonological short‐term memory and long‐term knowledge to vocabulary learning in a foreign language. Memory, 13, 422–429. https://doi.org/10.1080/096582....
Miestamo, M., Sinnemӓki, K., & Karlsson, F. (Eds.) (2008). Language complexity: typology, contact, change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Ministry of National Education and Sport (2002). Rozporządzenie Ministra Edukacji Narodowej i Sportu z dnia 12 lutego 2002 r. w sprawie ramowych planów nauczania w szkołach publicznych [Regulation of Minister of National Education and Sport of February 12, 2002 on the framework curricula in public schools] (Dz. U. z 2002 r., Nr 15, poz. 142). Warszawa: Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrów.
Muszyński, M., Campfield, D., & Szpotowicz, M. (2015). Język angielski w szkole podstawowej – proces i efekty nauczania [English in primary school – the process and effects of teaching]. Warszawa: Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych.
Nation, P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nation, P. (2001; 1990). Frequency based tests: Recognition. Retrieved from https://www.lextutor.ca/tests.
Nevo, E., & Breznitz, Z. (2014). Effects of working memory and reading acceleration training on improving working memory abilities and reading skills among third graders. Child Neuropsychology, 20, 752–765. https://doi.org/10.1080/092970....
Nijakowska, J. (2010). Dyslexia in the foreign language classroom. Bristol: St. Nicholas House.
Perfetti, C. (2007). Reading ability: lexical quality to comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11, 357–383.
Piskunowicz, M., Bieliński, M., Zgliński, A., & Borkowska, A. (2013). Testy fluencji słownej – zastosowanie w diagnostyce neuropsychologicznej [Verbal fluency tests – application in neuropsychological assessment]. Psychiatria Polska, 47, 475–485.
Raven, J. C. (1991). Test matryc. Wersja standard [Matrices test. Standard version]. Warszawa: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych Polskiego Towarzystwa Psychologicznego.
Raven, J. C. (2006). The standard progressive matrices – classic version. San Antonio, TX: NCS Pearson, Inc.
Reid, A. A., Szczerbinski, M., Iskierka-Kasperek, E., & Hansen, P. (2007). Cognitive profiles of adult developmental dyslexics: theoretical implications. Dyslexia, 13, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1002/dys.32....
Reiter, A., Tucha, O., & Lange, K. W. (2005). Executive functions in children with dyslexia. Dyslexia, 11, 116–131.
Rispens, J., & Baker, A. (2012). Nonword repetition: the relative contributions of phonological short-term memory and phonological representations in children with language and reading impairment. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 55, 683–694. https://doi.org/10.1044/1092-4....
Sparks, R. L., Patton, J., Ganschow, L., & Humbach, N. (2012). Relationships among NL print exposure and early NL literacy skills, L2 aptitude, and L2 proficiency. Reading and Writing, 25, 1599–1634. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145....
Sparks, R. L., Patton, J., Ganschow, L., Humbach, N., & Javorsky, J. (2006). Native language predictors of foreign language proficiency and foreign language aptitude. Annals of Dyslexia, 56, 129–160. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11881....
Stolarska, U., Kroczka, S., Gergont, A., Steczkowska, M., & Kaciński, M. (2008). Test fluencji słownej – aspekty rozwojowe w normie i patologii [Verbal fluency test – normal and pathological aspects of development]. Przegląd Lekarski, 65, 764–768.
Sumner, E., Connelly, V., & Barnett, A. L. (2013). Children with dyslexia are slow writers because they pause more often and not because they are slow at handwriting execution. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26, 991–1008.
Torgesen, J. K., Wagner, R., & Rashotte, C. (2012). Test of Word Reading Efficiency – Second Edition (TOWRE-2). Austin, TX: PRO-ED.
van Sette, E. R. H., Tops, W., Hakvoort, B. E., van der Leij, A., Maurits, N. M., & Maassen, B. A. M. (2017). NL and L2 reading skills in Dutch adolescents with a familial risk of dyslexia. PeerJ, 5. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.....
Woźnicki, T., & Zawadzka, E. (1981). Fazy procesu przyswajania języka obcego [Phases of foreign language acquisition process]. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.
Zhao, J., Quiroz, B., Dixon, L. Q., & Joshi, R. M. (2016). Comparing bilingual to monolingual learners on English spelling: a metaanalytic review. Dyslexia, 22, 193–213. https://doi.org/doi:10.1002/dy....
Zybert, J. (1999). Errors in foreign language learning: the case of Polish learners of English. Warszawa: Instytut Anglistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.