University of Tartu
Abstract. This study deals with the writing disabilities of the Estonian children I have been studying during the last 30 years. It has been demonstrated that the cognitive model of writing in the Estonian language is close to the models in these languages where the phonological system of writing is prevailing (German, Russian and others) and that the model differs from the model of the English language. The language-specific mistakes in writing in Estonian are the mistakes in marking the three durations of the phonemes. Many mistakes are made in the orthography of the plosive consonants and in the marking of the long sounds of the other sound groups. It appeared that the orthography skill depends on the following meta-linguistic skills: the uninterrupted spelling of the word in sounds for determining the phoneme order, the changing of the sound durations for determining the duration degree. In adapting the teaching methods the following standpoints were taken into account: teaching by partial skills (operations), using the symbols and schemes as remedies, regulating the difficulty degree of the activity by means of remedies and with the assistance of the teacher by changing the volume and the complexity of the material. As a result of using the adapted methods, the average number of the orthography mistakes decreased approximately 2 times.
Key-words: Estonian language, quantity, dysgraphia, remedial school, learning difficulties, adapted methods.
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