Fourth Workshop on Child, Computer and Interaction (WOCCI 2014)

September 19, 2014

Phontasia - a Phonics Trainer for German Spelling in Primary Education

Kay Berkling (1), Nadine Pflaumer (2)

(1) Cooperative State University, Karlsruhe, Germany; (2) Logopraxen, Karlsruhe, Germany

Dyslexia has increased manifold over the last few years and may in part be due to unstructured teaching of spelling. For the English language, decades of research have gone into the study of phonics, the systematic instruction of letter to sound connections in context, culminating in the National Reading Panel in 2000. It has affirmed that phonics is an important ingredient in standard teaching methodologies for English. No similar research has been done to such detailed degree for elementary school L1 spelling instruction in German. One reason may be that German orthographic depth is shallow compared to English. However, the high complexity of the syllabic structure in German may well warrant a closer look at specific systematic sequencing of skill instruction. While such sequencing using phonics was present in primers until the end of the 19th century, it is not present in contemporary primers. In this paper phonics categories are proposed for the German language that build on basic German word patterns in analogy to the English progression. Based on the theoretical development of the first levels an extensible mobile app prototype has been developed.

Index Terms: Orthography, Phonics, German, Text Analysis, Educational Application

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Berkling, Kay / Pflaumer, Nadine (2014): "Phontasia - a phonics trainer for German spelling in primary education", In WOCCI-2014, 33-38.