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Malikka Habib, Nur Artika Arshad, & O'Brien, B. A. (2022). Acquiring literacy in the diglossic contexts of Malay and Tamil in Singapore: Problems and prospects in early childhood classrooms. In E. Saiegh-Haddad, L. Laks, & C. McBride. (Eds.), Handbook of literacy in diglossia and in dialectal contexts. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-80072-7
Diglossia involves a linguistic state with different spoken dialects and literary forms. Cases of ‘modern diglossia’ consist of speech communities that encompass a local identity through the spoken dialect, and a cultural identity through an ancestral or neighboring countries’ standard written form. Two speech communities within Singapore closely follow this definition of diglossia: that of Malay and Tamil. To date, there is a growing body of evidence from the Malay diglossic community that the child’s own speech sounds influence their spelling (Jalil S, Rickard Liow S, Applied Psycholinguist 29:535–552, 2008; Treiman R, Goswami U, Tincoff R, Leevers H, Child Develop 68:229–245, 1997). However, there is very little, if any, published work that has examined spelling errors among Tamil speaking children. Hence, in this chapter, we examine and extend the work on diglossic spelling by looking at how the home language environment influences the oral language children rely on in the early stages of literacy.
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checked on Mar 23, 2023
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