Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Committee Chair(s)

Julie Wolter


Julie Wolter


Kristina Blaiser


Sylvia Read


Linguistic skills foundational to literacy success are skills such as phonology, morphology, and orthographic knowledge. Phonological awareness, the awareness of specific units of sounds within words, and morphological awareness, the meaningful units which make up words, have been studied in depth and received recent attention in research. Phonological awareness has been attributed to increased literacy abilities of written word decoding, syllable analysis, and word recognition (Stackhouse, 1997). Additionally, morphological awareness has been attributed to increased literacy abilities of sight word reading, decoding, reading comprehension, and spelling (Carlisle, 1995, 2000; Carlisle & Nomanbhoy, 1993; Wolter, Wood, & D’zatko, 2009). Orthographic awareness, however, has received less research attention. Specifically, the acquisition of orthographic memory, the memory of specific letter order in words, may be an important factor in children’s literary success (Apel, Wolter, & Masterson, 2006).
Children with language impairment, a group found to be at risk for literacy success, have been found to have delays in the skill of quickly and incidentally acquiring an orthographic memory of written words, or written fast mapping (Wolter & Apel, 2010). Comparatively, Apel (2010) and Wolter & Apel (2010) found typically developing young children were able to acquire these representations and this written fast mapping was strongly associated with spelling and reading success. Apel (2010) also found written fast mapping ability to be closely linked to spoken language acquisition in children with typical language. The specific link, however, between written fast mapping and spoken language acquisition has yet to be explored in children with language impairment. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between written language acquisition, spoken language acquisition, and literacy success in children with language impairment compared to typically developing peers.

Included in

Communication Commons