A longitudinal study of Chinese as a second language kindergarteners’ orthographic awareness and its association with their lexical learning performance

Sing Pui TO-CHAN, Elizabeth K. Y. LOH, Cathy O. Y. HUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This three-year longitudinal study investigated the orthographic knowledge development of Chinese characters in relation to lexical development among ethnic minority kindergarteners (N = 56) learning Chinese as a second language (CSL). The study examined the relative contribution of two types of orthographic knowledge (i.e. single character reading and radical awareness), and mental lexicon in Chinese character meaning recognition over the three years of preschool (K1-K3). Hierarchical regression analysis showed that single character reading at K1 and radical awareness at K2 were significant longitudinal predictors to later character meaning identification at K3, after controlling age and mental lexicon. Both single character reading and radical awareness were concurrently significant predictors to character meaning recognition at K3. The results indicated the longitudinal predicting effect of earlier component knowledge and radical awareness on subsequent character meaning identification. The finding supports the essential role of orthographic knowledge in Chinese character learning at early stage of ethnic minority leaners, and further establishes the mediated role of radical awareness between component knowledge and character meaning identification. Building on previous researches (e.g. Liu et al., 2007), this study illustrates that the component knowledge at early learning stage has a unique effect predicting the further development of character meaning identification and the learner framework for processing CSL. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date04 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 04 May 2021

Citation

Chan, T. S. P., Loh, E. K. Y., & Hung, C. O. Y. (2021). A longitudinal study of Chinese as a second language kindergarteners’ orthographic awareness and its association with their lexical learning performance. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-021-01797-2

Keywords

  • Chinese as a second language
  • Early childhood
  • Chinese character learning
  • Orthographic knowledge
  • Radical awareness

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