Metalinguistic Awareness Contributions: Evidence from Spelling in Korean and English



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Metalinguistic awareness skills (i.e., phonological awareness, orthographic awareness, morphological awareness) contribute to children?s spelling as well as reading. Although the multidimensional nature of these metalinguistic awareness skills has been acknowledged, little research has been conducted on the simultaneous investigation of these three metalinguistic skills, and it is especially true for Korean Hangul. The purpose of this study was to simultaneously examine these three inter-related constructs and the unique and shared contributions of each construct to English spelling as well as Korean spelling of typically developing fourth, fifth and sixth grade Korean-speaking students (n= 287).

Korean metalinguistic awareness skills represented by three-first order factors (i.e., phonological, orthographic, morphological awareness) predicted 83% of the total variance in Korean spelling, and 52% of the total variance in English Word Spelling. It was particularly noteworthy that Korean metalinguistic awareness skills determined 12% of the variance in English Word Spelling, even after controlling for English vocabulary, demonstrating that there was a transfer effect between the two different orthographies. Findings from the present study provide strong support for the relationships between first language and second language literacy skills in terms of spelling and the concrete relationship between morphological awareness and spelling.