Research Findings: This study investigated the bidirectional relations among paired associate learning (PAL), language-specific skills and Chinese word reading in kindergarten children from second year (K2) to third year (K3). We tested 204 children on four mapping conditions of PAL (i.e., visual-verbal, verbal-verbal, visual-visual, and verbal-visual), phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, executive functioning skills of working memory and inhibition, visual-motor integration, and Chinese word reading. Results of cross-lagged panel analysis showed that Chinese word reading uniquely predicted subsequent development of PAL and the language-specific skills of phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge, but not vice versa. Furthermore, the bidirectional associations between PAL and orthographic knowledge were not found in this study. The covariates of inhibition and visual-motor integration were also found to play crucial roles in the development of PAL. Practice or Policy: Together, these findings suggest that the process of learning to read modifies and refines the development of PAL and language-specific skills in beginning readers. Copyright © 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.