Learning Alphabetic System Difficulties

Leonor Scliar-Cabral


My aim is to discuss the ontogenesis of structured patterns of pertinent phonemic differences of a given sociolinguistic variety and the difficulties children face when trying to learn how to read. I first explain how the child innately guided loses her/his sensitivity to some phonetic features, realigns categories and sharpens or broadens categories in such a way that the cortex cells tune with categories that are pertinent to the sociolinguistic variety being acquired. Then, I focus on learning an alphabetic system like the Latin script, as a cognitive process, based on neurosciences findings about the reading process. I explain the initial difficulties children face, when trying to learn how to read. Before knowing the principles of the alphabetic system, the child does not perceive the contrasts among the syllable constituent units. The difficulty of delimiting words, namely unstressed words, and the fact that vision neurons of primates are genetically programmed for disregarding the minimal differences among basic features and the differences of direction such as right as opposed to left, and of vertical position, the bottom, as opposed to the top deserves an adequate early literacy education. Psycholinguistic research today can help overcome those difficulties by applying its results on developing new methods and new teaching materials intended for beginners in the literacy process.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/elr.v11n2p50


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Leonor Scliar-Cabral

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

If you have any questions, please contact elr@sciedupress.com.