From abugida to alphabet: The interplay between phonological awareness and writing system in transfer literacy – the case of Konso language in South West Ethiopia

Researcher: Aija Katriina Ahlberg

Supervisor: Lea Nieminen (PhD), Suzanne Puhakka (PhD)

Duration: 2015 - on going


The study deals with transfer reading from a consonant based writing system using Ethiopic script and classified as abugida to alphabetic writing system. It looks for answers to the following questions: What is the phonological awareness of abugida readers like and how does it develop during their process of learning alphabetic writing system? How do the transfer literacy learners perceive and learn the differences between the two writing systems? What are the difficult points for them to learn and why? How could the existing phonological awareness and the literacy skills of abugida readers’ best be utilized in transfer literacy teaching from an abugida to an alphabetic orthography? The field work for data gathering is carried out as part of a transfer reading program in Konso language in South-West Ethiopia.