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Acta Psychol (Amst). 2005 May;119(1):67-79. Epub 2005 Jan 4.

The influence of writing practice on letter recognition in preschool children: a comparison between handwriting and typing.

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  • 1Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives de la Méditerranée, UMR CNRS 6193, 31 chemin Joseph Aiguier, 13402 Marseille cedex 20, France.


A large body of data supports the view that movement plays a crucial role in letter representation and suggests that handwriting contributes to the visual recognition of letters. If so, changing the motor conditions while children are learning to write by using a method based on typing instead of handwriting should affect their subsequent letter recognition performances. In order to test this hypothesis, we trained two groups of 38 children (aged 3-5 years) to copy letters of the alphabet either by hand or by typing them. After three weeks of learning, we ran two recognition tests, one week apart, to compare the letter recognition performances of the two groups. The results showed that in the older children, the handwriting training gave rise to a better letter recognition than the typing training.

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