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Miswriting (Especially Mirror Writing) of the Digits: An Ecological Assessment Using ELFE Data

Authors
  • Fischer, Jean-Paul
  • Thierry, Xavier
Publication Date
Jul 09, 2021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1891/JCEP-D-19-00053
OAI: oai:HAL:hal-03283637v1
Source
HAL-SHS
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

The French National Cohort of Children Study ( Etude Longitudinale Française depuis l'Enfance— ELFE) tested the literacy and numeracy skills of 4- to 5-year-old typically developing children in the second year of école maternelle . Tasks were administered by more than 4,000 teachers at schools across France. One of the study's numeracy tasks required participants to write the number of ducks (up to 5) they had counted. Analyzing the digits written by 14,904 children showed that miswritings were much more common for the digit 3 than for the digit 4. This result is consistent with the right-orienting rule, which young children in Western cultures apply when they do not know a digit's orientation, and which leads them to write, for example, ε instead of 3.The nature and frequency of miswritten digits did not differ significantly between the 466 children presumed to have written with their left hand and the 3,531 children presumed to have written with their right hand. However, a logistic mixed-effects regression showed that two other factors—age of entry to école maternelle and very early smartphone use—had a (modest) influence on the percentage of digits that were miswritten.

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