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The authors report on a cross-linguistic investigation of the reading skills of 6- to 11-year-old children of English (an opaque orthography) and of Dutch (a transparent orthography). Dutch children were relatively more accurate and faster than English children of the same age at reading words and nonwords and also faster to complete phoneme deletion tasks, but the language differences were smaller than expected and modified by age. The predictors of individual differences in reading were similar in the 2 languages: phoneme awareness (as measured by accuracy and response time measures) was a significant predictor of reading, whereas rapid naming of colors, animals, and objects was not. The authors conclude that phoneme awareness is a predictor of individual differences in reading skill in transparent as well as opaque orthographies.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Educational Psychology

Publication Date





785 - 797