Poor spellers with good phonetic skills are more often right-handed

May 29, 2008

Children who can read and have good phonetic skills - the ability to recognize the individual sounds within words – may still be poor spellers. In a paper published in the May 2008 issue of Cortex, Elizabeth Eglinton and Marian Annett, at the School of Psychology of Leicester, UK, show that this subgroup of poor spellers is more likely to be right-handed than other poor spellers.

The three-year study was carried out in a cohort of children drawn from normal schools. The children attended nine different schools regarded as representative of the local education authority, including both town and country districts. In the first year of study all children in the 9-10 year age group were screened for laterality, literacy and cognitive abilities using short group tests (hand skill, spelling, nonword spelling, drawing shapes and homophonic word discrimination).

Tests requiring individual examination, including reading, were given in Year 2. In the end 414 children were available for the spelling analyses in Year 1, of whom 324 were tested further in Year 2.

The results of the study show that poor spellers with good phonetic equivalent spelling errors (GFEs) included fewer left-handers (2.4%) than poor spellers without GFEs (24.4%). Differences for hand skill were as predicted.

“These findings support the right shift theory of handedness and cerebral dominance, which predicts that dyslexics with good phonology would be strongly right-handed” says Marian Annett, corresponding author of the paper.

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: Vets' alcohol problems linked to stress on the home front (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Dyscalculia: Burdened by blunders with numbers

20 hours ago

Between 3 and 6% of schoolchildren suffer from an arithmetic-related learning disability. Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich now show that these children are also more likely to exhibit deficits ...

Free help for expecting and new mums at risk of depression

22 hours ago

With postnatal depression affecting almost one in seven women giving birth in Australia, QUT and the White Cloud Foundation have launched an innovative model of care to provide early access to treatment for expecting and ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Rawley
2.5 / 5 (2) May 29, 2008
IT's not really clear whether they took into account that there are also more right handed people than left.
They probably did, but that's not important to this reporter, neither is what this test actually means for us.