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Computer-based Training Programs to Stimulate Learning to Read in French for Newcomer Migrant Children: A Pilot Study

Jean Ecalle, Jean-Luc Vidalenc, Annie Magnan


The integration of newcomer migrant children is a vital challenge for host countries. For such children, learning to read in a new language is a prerequisite for the acquisition of knowledge in all academic domains at school. To investigate this issue, two experiments were conducted: one with children who were just at the beginning of learning to read in French and another with children who could already read a few words in French. Two specific software programs were used for each group. Each group was exposed to the same experimental design, which included three assessment sessions, namely two before training to obtain a baseline of scores in different literacy skills and a third after training to examine the impact of 10 hours of training. In Experiment 1, the alphabetic code was stimulated: a significant effect on phonemic awareness was observed. In Experiment 2, the grapho-syllabic processing required to read words was stimulated: a significant effect on word reading was observed. Our initial results show that teachers can improve learning to read in ways tailored to the needs of newcomer migrant children.


Alphabetic code; Learning to read; Newcomer migrant children; Syllable; Word reading.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ecps-2020-022-ecal

Copyright (©) 2020 Jean Ecalle – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

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Journal of Educational, Cultural and Psychological Studies (ECPS)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (19/05/2010 n. 278)
Online ISSN 2037-7924 - Print ISSN 2037-7932

Research Laboratory on Didactics and Evaluation - Department of Education - "Roma Tre" University

Executive Editor: Gaetano Domenici - Associate Executive Editor & Managing  Editor: Valeria Biasci
Editorial Board: Eleftheria Argyropoulou - Massimo Baldacci - Joao Barroso - Richard Bates - Christofer Bezzina - Paolo Bonaiuto - Lucia Boncori - Pietro Boscolo - Sara Bubb  - Carlo Felice Casula - Jean-Émile Charlier - Lucia Chiappetta Cajola - Carmela Covato - Jean-Louis Derouet - Peter Early - Franco Frabboni - Constance Katz - James Levin - Pietro Lucisano  - Roberto Maragliano - Romuald Normand - Michael Osborne - Donatella Palomba - Michele Pellerey - Clotilde Pontecorvo - Vitaly V. Rubtzov - Jaap Scheerens - Noah W. Sobe - Francesco Susi - Giuseppe Spadafora - Pat Thomson
Editorial Staff: Fabio Alivernini - Guido Benvenuto - Anna Maria Ciraci - Massimiliano Fiorucci - Luca Mallia - Massimo Margottini - Giovanni Moretti - Carla Roverselli 
Editorial Secretary:
Nazarena Patrizi 

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