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Writing starts with own name writing: From scribbling to conventional spelling in Israeli and Dutch children


The development of children's writing of their own names as compared to their writing of dictated words was examined on samples of children ranging from 2 to 5 years of age, who were immersed in Hebrew or Dutch and recruited from low to high socioeconomic status families. Analyses were based on four data sets collected in three studies. From a young age, children wrote their name on a higher level than they wrote other words, and name writing improved with age more rapidly than word writing across the whole age range. Furthermore, the intercorrelations between word writings, corrected for age, were generally higher than the correlation between word and name writing, indicating that children exhibit a unique approach to the writing of their own name, irrespective of other background variables. Children's advanced skill in writing their name may suggest that name writing promotes the development of writing in general.

Corresponding author
Iris Levin, School of Education, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel. E-mail:
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Applied Psycholinguistics
  • ISSN: 0142-7164
  • EISSN: 1469-1817
  • URL: /core/journals/applied-psycholinguistics
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