Second language writing systems

Research output: Book/ReportBook


External organisations

  • University of Essex


Second Language Writing Systems looks at how people learn and use a second language writing system, arguing that they are affected by characteristics of the first and second writing systems, to a certain extent independently of the languages involved. This book presents for the first time the effects of writing systems on language reading and writing and on language awareness, and provides a new platform for discussing bilingualism, biliteracy and writing systems. The approach is interdisciplinary, with contributions not only from applied linguists and psychologists but also corpus linguists, educators and phoneticians. A variety of topics are covered, from handwriting to spelling, word recognition to the mental lexicon, and language textbooks to metalinguistic awareness. Though most of the studies concern adult L2 learners and users, other populations covered include minority children, immersion students and bilingual children. While the emphasis is on English as the L2 writing system, many other writing systems are analysed as L1 or L2: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Gujarati, Indonesian, Irish, Italian and Japanese. Approaches that are represented include contrastive analysis, transfer, poststructuralism, connectionism and corpus analysis. The readership is SLA and bilingualism researchers, students and teachers around the world; language teachers will also find much food for thought.


Original languageEnglish
PublisherChannel View Publications
Number of pages448
ISBN (Electronic)9781853597954
ISBN (Print)9781853597930
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005