Counting enhances kindergarteners’ mappings of number words onto numerosities

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We can make sense of how many a number represents by mapping the symbolic number word system onto the non-symbolic, approximate number system. This study adopted an intervention design to examine whether counting is essential in driving the formation of such symbolic-non-symbolic mappings. We compared kindergarteners’ mapping ability after reading stories (1) without cardinal labels, or (2) with cardinal labels, or (3) with cardinal labels and verbal counting. Results showed that children who had counted when reading the stories showed better mapping between number words and their approximate representations than their peers in the other two conditions – suggesting that counting plays a role in developing early symbolic-non-symbolic mappings. Such findings provides empirical support for parents and early educators to enhance young children’s mappings between numbers words and approximate representations through counting activities – such as counting the items in the story books while reading to children. Copyright © 2020 Chan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


Chan, W. W. L. (2020). Counting enhances kindergarteners’ mappings of number words onto numerosities. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. Retrieved from


  • Counting
  • Mapping
  • Kindergarteners
  • Numbers
  • Story


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