Title: Orthography and English as a Second Language in a Community College Pre-academic Program icon

Title: Orthography and English as a Second Language in a Community College Pre-academic Program


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ERIC #: ED427829

Title: Orthography and English as a Second Language in a Community College Pre-academic Program.

Authors: Miele, Carol A. 

Publication Date: 1998-05-18

Abstract: This dissertation examines teaching and learning issues surrounding orthography in a community college setting. Spelling materials were designed in English and given to college-level English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students, with the goal of giving learners a means to integrate the experiences of speaking and writing English. Following an introduction to the study, section 2 of the dissertation contains a review of literature, focusing on linguistics foundations and pedagogical perspectives. Section 3, Methodology, covers learning materials and strategies developed for the study, a formative evaluation of participants (n=7), and data collection. Section 4, Instructional Content, explains lesson plans used in the research and supplemental class activities. Section 5 contains an analysis of student responses, with group and individual portraits and discussions on vocabulary, lesson design, and phonological issues. Section 6 presents major findings and pedagogical implications. The study reveals that students who have difficulty with English spelling respond positively to rule-based instruction aimed at increasing their understanding of the orthographic system. Findings also indicate that students with weak spelling skills also have limited phonological and lexical competence. Results highlight the need to address spelling in ESL classes. Appended are procedures for initial interview and interview questionnaires, lessons and lesson plans, and supplementary materials.


ERIC #: ED407856

Title: Strategies and Perceptions of Second Language Students.

Authors: Kim, Anna C. Eckermann, Carol 

^ Publication Date: 1997-00-00

Abstract: A study investigated the learning strategies and perceptions of second language learning of 12 students of advanced English-as-a-Second-Language at National-Louis University (Illinois). All subjects were surveyed, and one (Sasha), an articulate and highly motivated Ukrainian student, was interviewed in depth as a case study. Subjects were administered questionnaires on strategies used in reading and writing English. Results indicate that Sasha was not always typical of his peers. He was most different in ranking grammar rules and background knowledge as important, and gave a lower than average importance to correct pronunciation, spelling, and sharing ideas. He ranked his listening skills higher than other skills, while most ranked reading and writing skills higher than listening or speaking. He valued vocabulary knowledge highly, eschewed guessing, used translation frequently, and showed careful study habits. He reads mostly to gain information, and less so to improve English skills and for entertainment. Sasha's answers to the writing questionnaire were similar to his classmates' in many areas, but differed in some, including his very strong preferences concerning a number of composition processes. Implications for second language instruction are discussed.


ERIC #: ED261337

Title: Spelling Achievement of Average Ability Students, Grade 7.

Authors: Voorhees, Patricia Jean 

^ Publication Date: 1985-04-00

Abstract: A study was conducted to determine whether the VAK teaching method, using color coding as a motivational tool, improves spelling achievement more effectively than a more conventional method. The VAK method is a multisensory approach to teaching reading and spelling through the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile modalities. Forty-three seventh graders, divided into two groups, were pretested using the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) to determine spelling grade level. During the next 15 weeks, one group received spelling instruction using the conventional study/test method, while the other group received the study/test method and additional instruction using the VAK method. The kinesthetic part of the procedure was implemented by color coding the spelling words studied each week. Students were then posttested using the WRAT. The results indicated that the multisensory approach helped some students retain words for a longer period of time. Students receiving instruction with the VAK method appeared to be more interested in doing the spelling task each week and felt that tracing the word with colored markers helped keep their interests and motivated them to complete their work.


^ ERIC_NO: ED409541

TITLE: The Relationships among Orthographic Components of Word Identification

and Spelling for Grades 1-6.

AUTHOR: Willson, Victor L.; And Others

PUBLICATION_DATE: 1996

ABSTRACT: Students in grades 1-6 who were part of the norming sample for the

Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement took both a word identification task,

Reading and Decoding, and a spelling test. Each word in both tests was coded for

linguistic components: number of phonemes, consonant blends, vowel digraphs,

consonant digraphs, r-controlled vowels, silent markers, and regular or

irregular pronunciation/spelling of the word. For each student a regression

analysis was performed to predict whether the student could successfully

pronounce (spell) the word using the linguistic components as predictors.

Regression weights were then used in various multivariate analyses along with

overall word identification and spelling performance to investigate

relationships among the variables. Correlations among the two sets of variables

(word identification and spelling linguistic components and achievement)

indicated generally high correlations at all grades among linguistic components

and achievement, and between word identification and spelling achievement.

Structural equation models were developed at each grade. Specific patterns

varied at each grade level that appeared to be consistent with instructional

emphases at each grade level in both reading and spelling. For example, phonemic

length was important at grades 1-2 but not beyond for both reading and spelling,

while components such as vowel digraphs and silent markers varied with grade in

their importance for reading and spelling. Findings suggest that word regularity

is more important to spelling than reading beyond grade 2, as students encounter

increasingly difficult spelling words. Regularity in word identification does

not appear to play a role in upper grade activities. (Contains 10 references, 1

table and 8 figures of data.) (Author)

DESCRIPTORS: Decoding (Reading); Elementary Education; Reading Research;

*Reading Skills; Skill Development; *Spelling; *Word Recognition

IDENTIFIERS: Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement

^ PUBLICATION_TYPE: 143; 150

PAGE: 44; 1

CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: CS012867

EDRS_PRICE: EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.

LEVEL: 1

LANGUAGE: English

GEOGRAPHIC_SOURCE: U.S.; Texas

NOTE: 44p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the

Scientific Study of Reading (New York, NY, April 1996).


Results of a study with kindergarten children by ^ Dickinson and Snow (1986) examined the interrelationship among print-related skills developed prior to formal reading instruction and social class differences in these skills in 33 middle-class and working-class children attending one of two high quality, reading-oriented kindergarten classes. Two hypotheses were generated: (1) that correlations would emerge among measures reflecting grasp of sound-symbol correspondence, phonemic awareness, how print language functions, and decontextualized language ability; and (2) that social class differences would be a factor for measures of decontextualized language and grasp of sound-symbol correspondences, but not for measures of abilities focused on in the kindergarten, such as print concepts and general understanding of how books function. Subjects, assessed as low socioeconomic status (SES) or high SES on the basis of their parents' employment status, were tested in three to four sessions of 15 to 20 minutes each. The results indicated that phonemic awareness, print decoding, print production, and literacy interrelate positively and significantly, but have generally low or negative correlations with the oral language composites. These results suggest that preschool reading readiness may include many different abilities, however highly related to one another. Gender had no significant main effect, but middle-class subjects scored significantly higher on all the prereading composite scores than did working-class subjects, suggesting that attendance at high quality nursery/kindergarten classes was not sufficient to equalize the skills of the two social groups.

The relationship between spelling and reading abilities in L1 was investigated by several researchers. For example, ^ Zutell and Rasinski (1989) examined the relationship between oral reading abilities and spelling behaviors of third and fifth grade students. Each student read a selection one level above his/hr current grade placement, spelled the words on the appropriate grade-level list of the Qualitative Inventory of Word Knowledge and took the appropriate level of the Gates-McGinitie Reading Tests. Oral reading were scored for accuracy, rate and phrasing; spellings were scored for accuracy, phonetic quality and stage of spelling development. Results confirmed a strong relationship between spelling skill and oral reading ability, supporting the argument that a common body of conceptual word knowledge underlies both.

Holmes and Ng (1993) conducted four experiments to examine spelling ability in college students. Good & poor spellers (50% error rate) were identified using a misspelled word identification task. Findings showed that poor spellers take longer to make spelling judgments & lack word-specific information & knowledge of spelling rules. Poor spellers’ inefficient processing is confined to orthographically structured stimuli. It argued that their failure to retain detailed knowledge of spellings results from their partial analysis strategy of word recognition.

Gill (1989) investigated the cognitive relationship between word recognition & spelling. children's performance in recognizing words printed in their own incorrect spellings was compared with their performance in recognizing the same words spelled correctly. Ss were first (N = 16), second (N = 17), & third (N = 15) graders at a rural Va school. Invented spellings were collected in a 41-word spelling test; a week later each S took a word-recognition test on the same 41-word list with 20 of the words in his/her own spelling, followed in another week by a test in the same format with correct/invented spellings reversed. On the premise that the degree to which responses to Ss' own spelling & correct spelling agree in accuracy will reveal the extent to which word recognition & spelling are related & based on the same word knowledge, the high own-spelling/standard-spelling ratios found indicate that in reading standard orthography a child uses the same features that are represented in his/her own invented spellings.


Wilson (1996) investigated the relationship between spelling and word recognition abilities of normal students in grades 1-6 who are native speakers of English. Correlations among the word identification and spelling linguistic components and achievement indicate generally high correlations at all grades among linguistic components and achievement and between word identification and spelling achievement. Phonemic length was important at grades 1-2 but not beyond for both reading and spelling, while components such as vowel digraphs and silent markers varied with grade in their importance for reading and spelling. Findings suggest that word regularity is more important to spelling reading beyond graade2, as students encounter increasingly difficult that spelling words. Regularity in word identification does not appear to play a role in upper grade activity.


Klicpera, Schabmann (1993) analyzed the development of reading and spelling abilities of 458 Austrian students from second to eighth grade. A longitudinal study analyzed the development of reading & spelling abilities in Viennese school children (N = 458) from the second through the eighth grade. Although the students' level of performance was consistent, with poor readers & spellers retaining their weaknesses, groups of students whose performance either improved or deteriorated with time were also found. Cognitive prerequisites, the classroom behavior of the students, & social factors all proved to be significant for the long-term prognosis.


Yerdon (1994) studied the relationship between reading ability and developmental spelling stages with 11 children with reading disabilities in third, fourth and fifth grades. Word recognition ability was determined by administering the Classroom Reading Inventory. Graded word lists were then used as a measure of word recognition and were compared to spelling development, by assessing students' developmental spelling stage (prephonetic, semiphonetic, phonetic, transitional, and standard spelling ability). A strong positive relationship between word recognition and spelling scores was found. It was concluded that spelling instruction in the classroom can affect reading ability, and students should be given instruction and strategies in spelling that will help to increase their reading achievement. Specific strategies for use inside and outside the classroom are considered, including word bank development, placeholder spelling, generation of possible spellings, spelling explorers circle, making words of increasing size out of a set of letters, and variations on "Wheel of Fortune."


^ Yamada and Kawamoto (1991) investigated reading, spelling and recognition of briefly exposed words and non-words by English-speaking Japanese students. 18 English-speaking Japanese college students were divided into groups of 5 readers and spellers of English, 6 good readers but poor spellers, 3 poor readers but good spellers, and 4 poor readers and spellers. Students were tested on instantaneous recognition of words and non-words. Recognition performance was more strongly associated with spelling than with reading comprehension. Immediate memory and sophisticated guessing which were associated with spelling, were considered to be critical for the recognition task, but the hypothesis that a common processing mechanism is involved in instantaneous word recognition and spelling was rejected.

Other studies investigated the effect of phonological, orthographic and morphological awareness on spelling and reading. Stuarts and Masterson (1992) followed up ten ten-year old children to investigate the patterns of reading and spelling related to pre-reading phonological abilities. It was found that children with good early phonological awareness had well-developed lexical and sublexical reading and spelling procedures. Results suggest that early phonological skills relate more strongly to the development of sublexical than lexical processing systems.

^ McDonald and Cornwall (1995) followed up 24 16-and-17-year-old teenagers who participated in a study 11 years earlier. Measures included the Auditory analysis test, the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Reading and Spelling subtests of the Wide Range Achievement Test and Word Attack and Passage Comprehension subtests of the Woodcock Reading Matery Tessst. Phonological awareness which was assessed in kindergarten was a significant predictor of word of word identification and spelling tests at follow-up.


^ Shankwiler, Lundquist, Dreyder, and Dickinson (1996) investigated the contribution of non-word decoding skill and phonological and morphological awareness to spelling ability. They assessed basic skills in reading, spelling, & metalinguistic abilities were assessed in 9th- & 10th-grade students. All Ss were administered an experimental spelling test (SPEL), Morphology Spelling Test, Test of Morphological Awareness, Phoneme Deletion Test, Decoding Skills Test, & Controlled Words Decoding Test. Both LD & non-LD students demonstrated deficiencies in spelling & decoding. A multiple regression analysis indicated that decoding was the major factor in spelling variance; phonological & morphological awareness played secondary roles. Decoding predicted about half of the variance in spelling, the phonological awareness effect was hidden by its correlation with decoding, but was a predictor of spelling, and morphological awareness predicted spelling skill of morphologically complex words. A follow-up study (N = 86 9th graders, average aged 15:2) provided evidence that phonologically based differences in decoding skill have an impact on reading comprehension even among experienced readers, i.e. differences in decoding and spelling ability were associated with differences in comprehension. Results suggest that even among experienced readers, individual differences incomprehension reflect efficiency of phonological processing at the word level.


^ Rohl and Pratt (1995) examined the relationship between phonological awareness, verbal working memory and the development of reading and spelling through a two-year study of initial prereading first-grade children (N = 76) from three schools in Perth, Western Australia. Test types given include those of memory, sound categorization, phonemic segmentation & deletion, reading ability, real word & pseudoword decoding & spelling, & The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Test results are provided in the form of descriptive statistics; factor analyses are also given, & correlations are addressed, especially the differences in phonological awareness variables from grade 1 to grade 2. Progress made in verbal working memory, reading, & spelling is also discussed. Results support the theoretical view that both phonological awareness & verbal working memory contribute to the early stages of literary acquisition.


  • Levinthal and Hornung (1992) studied the relationship between orthographic and phonological coding and reading and spelling abilities in college students. They indicated that phonolgical awareness predicted later reading and spelling.



Several studies in the L1 literature investigated the effect of phonological, orthographic and morphological awareness on spelling and reading. The relationship between orthographic and phonological coding and reading and spelling abilities in college students was studied by Levinthal and Hornung (1992). They found that a deficiency in phonological coding and an overreliance upon orthographic coding, often observed in dyslexic children, can also be seen in relatively poor readers and spellers within a normal adult population.

    • De-Manrique and Singorini (1994) examined the relationship between phonological awareness, spelling and reading abilities in Spanish-speaking first grade children who were not skilled readers.



The relationship between spelling and listening was the focus of several studies.

Truch (1994) conducted a study with 281 individuals (ages 6 to adult) with reading difficulties who received 80 hours of instruction in the auditory discrimination in Depth Program. Truch (1994) conducted a study with 281 individuals (ages 6 to adult) with reading difficulties who received 80 hours of instruction in the auditory discrimination in Depth Program. Recent research indicates that a major cause of reading (decoding) disabilities lies in an inability to manipulate speech at its phonemic level. The effectiveness of the Auditory Discrimination in Depth Program (ADD) was tested on children, adolescents, & adults (N = 156 aged 6-12, 49 aged 13-17, & 24 aged 18+). Pretest data were compared with posttesting after 80 hours of instruction. Analysis of covariance was used to evaluate whether significant gains had been achieved. The findings indicate that both school-age children & adults can be taught phonological awareness, & that this leads to significant gains in decoding, word identification, spelling, & contextual reading.


Ormod (1988) examined strategies actually used by 20 good and poor spellers at third, fourth, seventh and eighth grade. The strategies included pronunciation, over-pronunciation, visual imagery, letter rehearsal, word analysis, pretest comparison, spelling rules and miscellaneous strategies. The relationship between spelling and listening has received less attention in ESL research.


Algeria and Mousty (1996) examined the nature of sound-to-spelling transcription rules and procedural evolution of 75 normal and 38 reading disabled French-speaking second and fifth grade students matched for reading level. Compared spelling procedures of normal and reading-disabled French-speaking children matched for reading achievement. Found that, at the lowest reading level, word frequency effects were absent and phonological context effects on rule application were seen only in normal readers. As reading ability improved, word frequency and phonological context effects on rule application increased. Most studies focused on elementary school children who are native speakers, and disabled readers or poor spellers. An ERIC search showed a lack of studies that focus on the spelling, decoding and listening abilities of Arab students in ESL college students.

An examination of the L2 literature has shown that there is a limited body of reseach on the transfer of learning between spelling and listening, spelling and reading and reading and listening.

Ganschow and Sparks (1986) have pointed out that difficulties with listening comprehension may affect foreign language learning in general. Examined case studies of 4 College students with suspected learning disabilities who were experiencing severe problems learning a foreign lang. Findings suggested that all four students had deficiencies in listening comprehension & concomitant difficulties with an audiolingual approach to teaching.


^ Algeria and Mousty (1996) examined the nature of sound-to-spelling transcription rules and procedural evolution of 75 normal and 38 reading disabled French-speaking second and fifth grade students matched for reading level and found. Students spelled frequent and infrequent words containing inconsistent non-dominant graphemes, consistent context-dependent graphemes, or pseudo-words including inconsistent graphemes presented in different phonological contexts. Signs of taking the context into account were observed only in the normal group. They found that the effects of both word frequency and contextual constraints to rule application increase as reading ability progresses. It is suggested that disabled readers could use partial cues that allow reading but do not supply complete representations of words to the orthographic lexicon.

Finally, a study of how 369 7-to-9-year-old children in Australia make use of morphemic information when they are learning to spell indicated that bilingual children were less competent than the monolingual children in making use of morphemic information, but the difference was not great, and the error patterns of the two groups were similar (Thomas, 1982). A study investigated the way in which children make use of morphemic information when they are learning to spell. Specifically, it examined the use of morphemic information in spelling compound words; the use made of morphemic information when adding suffixes to words, and the way the morphological rule governing the formation of the past tense is acquired. Subjects, 360 7-to-9-year-old children from 30 schools in Melbourne, Australia, were administered spelling tests over a 3-day period. Results showed that many of the children did not appear to be aware of the significance of the morphemic structure of the words they were asked to spell, and knowing how to spell a morpheme in one context did not ensure that it would be spelled correctly in another. The children's spelling of the irregular past tense morpheme indicated that they were attempting to apply a rule, but for many the rule was difficult to acquire. The bilingual children in the sample, as a group, were less competent than the monolingual children at making use of morphemic information, but the difference was not great, and the error patterns of the two groups were similar. (Author/FL)


^ ERIC_NO: ED423692

TITLE: Spelling Instruction in ESL: English Orthography and Resources for

Spelling Instruction in English as a Second Language.

AUTHOR: Chrisman, Roger

PUBLICATION_DATE: 1996

ABSTRACT: A discussion of spelling instruction for learners of English as a

second language (ESL) looks at writing systems, the literature of ESL

instruction, and the literature of English language arts in general. It begins

with a typology of writing systems, examining how they represent both

grammatical and phonological features. The nature of English orthography is then

explored, focusing on its evolution, the influence of morphology on it, and its

regular and irregular features. Literature on the pedagogy of spelling is then

reviewed, drawing from that of the language arts in general and of ESL

instruction in particular. A number of recommendations for classroom spelling

instruction are presented, including those concerning the role of reading,

exploration of hidden structure in the English writing system, and degree of

emphasis on spelling in language instruction. (Contains 25 references, some

annotated.) (MSE)

DESCRIPTORS: *Alphabets; Class Activities; Classroom Techniques; *English

(Second Language); *Language Patterns; *Linguistic Theory; Second Language

Instruction; *Spelling Instruction; Systems Approach; *Whole Language Approach

^ PUBLICATION_TYPE: 040; 052; 070

PAGE: 37; 1

CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: FL025495

EDRS_PRICE: EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.

LEVEL: 1

LANGUAGE: English

GEOGRAPHIC_SOURCE: U.S.; California

NOTE: 37p.; Master's Field Project, University of San Francisco.


^ ERIC_NO: ED379925

TITLE: Spelling Acquisition in the Elementary ESL Classroom.

AUTHOR: Dildine, Dana E.

PUBLICATION_DATE: 1994

ABSTRACT: Based on results from research on children's spelling, it has been

established that spelling errors produced by ESL students in this study of 6th

grade students parallels the errors of native speakers of English in the same

classroom. The ESL students are also impacted by cross-linguistic influence of

the phonology of their native tongue. This data is interpreted to support a

cognitive-developmental model of spelling acquisition in ESL and native speakers

of English. Results of the study show English spelling acquisition for ESL

students to be a developmental process similar to native speakers of English.

(Contains 66 references.) (Author)

DESCRIPTORS: Cognitive Processes; *Data Interpretation; Educational Research;

Elementary School Students; *English (Second Language); Error Analysis

(Language); *Error Patterns; Grade 6; *Interference (Language); Intermediate

Grades; Learning Processes; Native Speakers; Phonology; *Second Language

Instruction; *Spelling; Spelling Instruction; Teaching Models

^ PUBLICATION_TYPE: 042; 143

PAGE: 147; 2

CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: FL022769

EDRS_PRICE: EDRS Price - MF01/PC06 Plus Postage.

LEVEL: 1

LANGUAGE: English

GEOGRAPHIC_SOURCE: U.S.; Arizona

NOTE: 147p.; Master's Thesis, Arizona State University.


^ ERIC_NO: ED377674

TITLE: Invented Spelling in the Writing Process: Applications for the Elementary

EFL/ESL Classroom.

AUTHOR: Lundblade, Shirley Mae

PUBLICATION_DATE: 1994

ABSTRACT: A study in Thailand investigated the relationship of invented spelling

and writing skills among students of English as a Second Language (ESL).

Subjects were 12 first-grade children, aged 6-7 years, in an international

school. All were taught English, including writing, by the same method. Analysis

of writing samples over the course of the year focused on patterns or changes in

the spelling strategies used (conventional or invented), trends in spelling

proficiency, and fluency of writing as measured by size and sophistication of

vocabulary, output of stories, total words used, difficulty level of grammatical

structures used, and several other criteria. Results indicate that the students

using predominantly invented spelling in the writing process attained high

scores on grade-level spelling tests, wrote with a larger and more sophisticated

vocabulary, and used more complex sentence structures than those who used

invented spelling to a more limited extent. Three case studies of children not

included in the group and briefer case studies of each subject in the study are

presented. Implications of the results for ESL classroom instruction are

discussed. Tabulated data from the study are appended in 26 appendices. Contains

165 references. (MSE)

DESCRIPTORS: Case Studies; Classroom Techniques; Educational Strategies;

*English (Second Language); Foreign Countries; Grade 1; Introductory Courses;

*Invented Spelling; Primary Education; Second Language Instruction; *Spelling

Instruction; *Vocabulary Development; *Writing Instruction; Writing Processes;

Writing Skills

IDENTIFIERS: *Thailand

PUBLICATION_TYPE: 042

PAGE: 216; 3

^ CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: FL022170

EDRS_PRICE: EDRS Price - MF01/PC09 Plus Postage.

LEVEL: 1

LANGUAGE: English

GEOGRAPHIC_SOURCE: U.S.; California

NOTE: 216p.; Master's Thesis, Biola University.


ERIC_NO: ED436104

TITLE: Phonics in ESL Literacy Instruction: Functional or Not?

AUTHOR: Jones, Monica L.

PUBLICATION_DATE: 1996

ABSTRACT: There are compelling reasons for integrating phonics into the adult

English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) curriculum. The adult ESL student has the

analytical capability to understand phoneme-grapheme relationships and can be

taught to use any transferable native-language literacy skills in English

spelling. In this essay, the potential of phonics instruction in the teaching of

reading and spelling to ESL students with little formal education in the native

language or English is considered. The discussion begins with an analysis of the

features of English orthography and research on whether English orthography can

be taught. A rationale for teaching phonics is outlined, focusing on its utility

for native Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States. A classroom

research project using phonics and spelling instruction in an adult

intermediate-level ESL literacy class is then reported. Basic English spelling

rules are reviewed, and a three-step approach to teaching them (phoneme-grapheme

relationships; irregular verb tests; and guided compositions) is described.

Results indicate the approach was useful in teaching students to spell and in

encouraging writing. (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education) (MSE)

DESCRIPTORS: Adult Education; *English (Second Language); Instructional

Effectiveness; Language Research; Linguistic Theory; *Literacy Education;

*Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence; *Phonics; Second Language Instruction;

*Spanish Speaking; *Spelling Instruction; Teaching Methods

IDENTIFIERS: Orthography

^ PUBLICATION_TYPE: 120; 150

PAGE: 31

CLEARINGHOUSE_NO: FL801340

AVAILABILITY: For full text:




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