Dialogical Reading Programme on Chinese Language and Emergent Literacy Learning in Ethnic Minority Preschool Children in Hong Kong

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed study aims to examine the training effects of a dialogic reading programme, coupled with or without morphological and orthographic skills, on Chinese language and emergent literacy skills in ethnic minority children who are learning Chinese as a second language (L2) in Hong Kong preschools. For young Chinese preschool L2 children living in Hong Kong, at least two challenges lie that hamper their progress in Chinese learning. First, they are acquiring oral language at the same time as their emergent literacy skills. Second, they lack the home language and literacy environment of Chinese. Therefore, to a large extent, their Chinese learning relies on the learning they acquire from the preschool. The age-related characteristics of preschool children do not allow them learn L2 like older children or adults. Therefore, this study proposes the implementation of a dialogic programme that primarily promotes very young children’s general language skills, both with or without specific training of morphological and orthographic skills—two core metalinguistic skills essential in Chinese early literacy development. A total of 120 K2 (age 4–5 years) L2 Chinese young learners will be recruited from local Hong Kong kindergartens. Three training groups will be formed: one group will have a dialogic reading programme only, the second group will experience a dialogic reading programme coupled with morphological skills training, and the third group will have a dialogic programme coupled with orthographic skill training. Three full-time undergraduates who major in early childhood education will be employed and trained to deliver the three training programmes. Each group will consist of four to five children, and all groups will meet once a week for a total of 12 weekly training sessions. All children will be assessed in terms of their Chinese oral language skills, metalinguistic skills, and other reading-related cognitive skills before and after the training sessions. The children’s views on their language progress through the programme, as well as those of their teachers and parents, will be taken into consideration in evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention.

Funding Source: HKSAR Govt - SCOLAR/Language Fund
Effective start/end date08/02/1607/08/18


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