Copying skills in relation to word reading and writing in Chinese children with and without dyslexia

Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Xiuhong TONG

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Because Chinese character learning typically relies heavily on rote character copying, we tested independent copying skill in third- and fourth-grade Chinese children with and without dyslexia. In total, 21 Chinese third and fourth graders with dyslexia and 33 without dyslexia (matched on age, nonverbal IQ, and mother’s education level) were given tasks of copying unfamiliar print in Vietnamese, Korean, and Hebrew as well as tests of word reading and writing, morphological awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), and orthographic processing. All three copying tasks distinguished dyslexic children from nondyslexic children with moderate effect sizes (.67–.80). Zero-order correlations of the three copying tasks with dictation and reading ranged from .37 to .58. With age, Raven’s, group status, RAN, morphological awareness, and orthographic measures statistically controlled, the copying tasks uniquely explained 6% and 3% variance in word reading and dictation, respectively. Results suggest that copying skill itself may be useful in understanding the development and impairment of literacy skills in Chinese. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-433
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011




McBride-Chang, C., Chung, K. K. H., & Tong, X. (2011). Copying skills in relation to word reading and writing in Chinese children with and without dyslexia. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110(3), 422-433.


  • Visual skills
  • Morphological awareness
  • Orthographic processing
  • Rapid automatized naming
  • Dictation
  • Calligraphy