Spanish Heritage Language Learners' Reading Accuracy and Spelling Difficulties

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Amàlia Llombart-Huesca
Luis D. Gaytán-Soto


Spelling has been recognized as a challenging aspect of literacy for Spanish Heritage Language Learners (SHLLs). This study examines the relationship between reading and spelling accuracy, with a specific focus on the vowel e, in
monophthongs and diphthongs. A total of forty-five participants completed the Bilingual Language Profile and a reading task involving the contrast between monophthongs and diphthongs in real words and pseudowords. The results of the study indicate that participants encountered greater difficulties in accurately reading the vowel e when it appeared in a diphthong (ie) than when it appeared in a monophthong. Moreover, participants’ reading abilities were subject to a lexicality effect and hindered by limited phonological awareness and decoding skills. The paper further explores the connections between individual language dominance factors and literacy measures.

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