[PS-1.15] Cross-linguistic differences in developing readers' multi-letter processing abilities in the RAN and VA span tasks

Antzaka, A. . 1 , Martin, C. 1, 2 , Caffarra, S. 1 , Schlöffel, S. 1 , Carreiras, M. 1, 2, 3 & Lallier, M. . 1

2 Ikerbasque

We investigated whether reading in a deeper orthography increases the bias towards multi-letter processing in two reading-related tasks: visual attention (VA) span and rapid automatized naming (RAN). VA span (i.e., the number of visual elements that can be processed at once in a multi-element array) was tested with a visual 1-back task and RAN was measured in a serial letter naming task with a novel manipulation (some letter sequences formed frequent Basque words). Spanish-Basque and French-Basque bilingual children were tested at early (30 1st and 2nd grade children), and more advanced (24 3rd, 4th and 5th grade children) stages of reading development to investigate whether they would be differently biased towards multi-letter processing due to reading in two shallow (Spanish, Basque), or a deep and a shallow (French, Basque) orthography. The French-Basque bilinguals, who read in a deep orthography, were expected to rely on larger orthographic units in reading and thus to be more biased towards multi-letter processing in both tasks. The expected group differences were observed in the more advanced readers, with French-Basque bilinguals showing a wider distribution of VA span across letter strings and longer naming times in RAN (reflecting interference of the embedded words on performance).