In search of subtypes of Chinese developmental dyslexia

Connie S.-H. HO, David W. CHAN, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Suk-Han LEE, Suk-Man TSANG

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95 Citations (Scopus)


The dual-route model offers a popular way to classify developmental dyslexia into phonological and surface subtypes. The current study examined whether this dual-route model could provide a framework for understanding the varieties of Chinese developmental dyslexia. Three groups of Chinese children (dyslexics, chronological-age controls, and reading-level controls) were tested on Chinese exception character reading, pseudocharacter reading (analogous to English nonword reading), novel word learning, and some phonological and orthographic skills. It was found that Chinese exception character reading and pseudocharacter reading were highly correlated and that orthographic skills was a better predictor of both Chinese exception character and pseudocharacter reading than was phonological skills. More than half (62%) of the children in the dyslexia sample were classified as belonging to the surface subtype, but no children were classified as belonging to the phonological subtype. These results suggested that the lexical and sublexical routes in Chinese are highly interdependent or that there may be only one route from print to speech as suggested by the connectionist models. Chinese dyslexic children generally are characterized as having delays in various phonological and orthographic skills, but some, such as those identified as surface dyslexics in the current study, are more severely impaired. Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-83
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Ho, C. S.-H., Chan, D. W., Chung, K. K. H., Lee, S.-H., & Tsang, S.-M. (2007). In search of subtypes of Chinese developmental dyslexia. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 97(1), 61-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2007.01.002


  • Chinese
  • Developmental dyslexia
  • Dual-route model
  • Subtyping


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