Authors: Sebastian P. Suggate, Viktoria L. Karle, Tanja Kipfelsberger, Heidrun Stoeger.
Publication: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (Elsevier). Volume 232, 105674, 2023 | DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2023.105674
- We test the contribution of fine motor skills (FMS), writing and typing on reading.
- We manipulated both FMS and whether children learned by typing or writing.
- Children with experimentally impaired FMS learned most when typing.
- FMS and working memory predicted reading acquisition.
- Findings have implications for educational practice and theory.
Discussions on the contribution of motor skills and processes to learning to read has a long history. Previous work is essentially divided into two separate strands, namely the contributions of fine motor skills (FMS) to reading and the influence of writing versus typing. In the current 2 × 2 × 3 mixed, single-blind, and randomly assigned experiment, we tested both strands together. A total of 87 children learned to decode pseudowords in either typing or writing conditions in which their FMS were either impaired or not. Decoding gains were measured at pretest, posttest, and follow-up, with FMS and working memory included as participant variable predictors. Findings indicated that FMS and working memory predicted decoding gains. Importantly, children performed best when typing if in the impaired FMS condition. Results have implications for motor representation theories of writing and for instruction of children with FMS impairments.
Sebastian P. Suggate, Viktoria L. Karle, Tanja Kipfelsberger, Heidrun Stoeger,
The effect of fine motor skills, handwriting, and typing on reading development, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,
Volume 232, 2023, 105674,