Language and Linguistics Seminar Series: Week 7 with Dr Alison Porter, University of Southampton

Teaching and learning French sound spelling links in English schools

  • Thu 14 Nov 19

    12:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr Alison Porter, University of Southampton

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Language and Linguistics Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Language and Linguistics, Department of

  • Contact details

    Professor Peter Patrick

In week 7, Dr Alison Porter, University of Southampton, joins us to talk about their recent research.

12-1pm Dr Alison Porter will take to the stage to deliver their talk, followed by a lunch provided by Language and Linguistics from 1pm-2pm.

We look forward to seeing you there: this event is open to all students and staff! 


Young learner foreign language (FL) curricula note the importance of foundational stages of reading such as linking sounds, meaning and spelling (e.g. DfE, 2013) and teaching advice often suggests that FL phonics is an essential ingredient in any FL instruction “diet” (e.g. Cao, 2017; Hawkes, 2019).

The ability to link letters to sounds (phonological decoding) and to segment and manipulate the spoken word (phonological awareness) is widely recognised as essential in learning to read any alphabetic language (e.g. Castles et al., 2018).  Phonics instruction in English (where English is the dominant school language) is proven to be most effective in supporting these foundational literacy skills (Castles et al., 2018), yet little is known about the effectiveness of FL phonics instruction or the process of learning FL sound/spelling links.

This talk will explore the findings of two research studies which have examined French  phonics instruction and the process of learning French sound/spelling links in primary and secondary school FL classrooms.  It will also discuss implications for FL pedagogy.

Cao, M (2017).  An analysis of phonics teaching in mainland China.  Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 8(2), 286-290.
Castles, A., Rastle, K. & Nation, K. (2018).  Ending the reading wars: Reading acquisition from novice to expert.  Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 19, 5-51.

Department for Education – DfE (2014). The National Curriculum in England.
Hawkes, R. (2019, February 8).  Phonics. 




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