Date of Award

Fall 2022

Document Type



College of Natural and Health Sciences

Primary Advisor

Dr. Amy Bratten


Morphological awareness is a crucial metalinguistic skill, specifically for English Language Learners (ELLs). Since languages differ widely in degree of orthographic opacity, degree of morphological fusion, and degree of morphological synthesis, this thesis sought to evaluate the impact of the structural features of other languages upon ELLs’ levels of English morphological awareness. Additionally, the study investigated the relationship between morphological awareness and perceived levels of literacy and oracy proficiency. Multilingual individuals responded to an online survey containing a morphological awareness task and a language history questionnaire. Each language represented in the sample was coded according to its structural features. Subsequently, the relationship between the features and morphological awareness was analyzed. Morphological awareness was impacted by a confluence of all three structural features. Knowledge of languages with higher degrees of morphological synthesis or higher degrees of orthographic opacity was found to predict higher levels of morphological awareness. Additionally, perceived English literacy proficiency explained a larger degree of the variance in English morphological awareness than perceived English oracy proficiency, though both were statistically significant. The findings indicate the acquisition of English may be impacted by familiarity with other languages and by perceptions of English proficiency