Speech-print Awareness in Chinese Word Reading Development

Project: Research project

Project Details


Despite recent research providing solid evidence regarding the roles of phonological awareness, visual-orthographic ability, and morphological awareness in Chinese children’s reading development, there is little research about the fundamental ability to map sound units (phonology) to visual symbols (visual-orthography). The present study examines children’s ability to map speech to print, and its role in Chinese word reading development longitudinally among children in the first year to third year (K1- K3) of kindergarten in two different language environments of Hong Kong and Beijing. Four major goals guide the study. First, it identifies the developmental progression of speech-print awareness at two levels, namely, syllable mapping awareness and word mapping awareness, in both Hong Kong and Beijing kindergarteners. Second, it distinguishes developmental differences across grades (K1-K3) and societies (Hong Kong and Beijing) that use different written Chinese scripts (traditional and simplified) and have different spoken languages (Cantonese and Mandarin). Third, it examines the role of speech-print awareness in Chinese reading acquisition in each grade and each society. Fourth, the unique contribution of speech-print awareness to Chinese word reading, beyond those of phonological awareness, visual-orthographic ability, and porphological awareness, is examined over time across different language environments of Hong Kong and Beijing.

Funding Source: RGC - Early Career Scheme (ECS)
Effective start/end date28/06/1327/12/16


  • word mapping
  • syllable mapping
  • literacy


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