Evaluation of the effectiveness of "analytic" and "whole-word" approaches for teaching Chinese dyslexic children word recognition

Fuk Chuen HO, Robert T. ELLIOTT

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of different instructional approaches for Chinese dyslexic children with different types of problems in the word recognition. Based on the dual-route model of reading, readers may use either the lexical (words are recognized as wholes) or sub-lexical (words are recognized through grapheme- phoneme correspondence) procedure to read. Castles & Coltheart have provided evidence for the existence of these two mechanisms in English reading and they suggest that deficits in one and/or the other mechanism lead to different patterns of reading disability. Surface dyslexia results from impairment of the lexical procedure with an intact phonological route to reading. Deep dyslexia results from a highly selective deficit in the grapheme-phoneme transformation mechanism. In the case of Chinese reading, Elliott & Ho also found the existence of surface and deep dyslexic reading patterns in the Chinese reading disabled subjects. This study made use of the analytic approach with a focus on highlighting the phonetic components within the words as well as the whole-word approach with a focus on recognizing words as "wholes" to teach those subjects with different patterns of reading problems. The results indicated that the surface dyslexics did receive specific benefit from a treatment program using the analytic approach. In contrast, the deep dyslexics benefited specifically from a treatment program using the whole-word approach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1998



Ho, F. C., & Elliott, T. R. (1998, November). Evaluation of the effectiveness of "analytic" and "whole-word" approaches for teaching Chinese dyslexic children word recognition. Paper presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 15th Annual Conference: Quality Education Across Disciplines, Systems and Regions, Hong Kong Baptist University, China.