Language and literacy development in Chinese children

Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG, Dan LIN, Yui-Chi FONG, Hua SHU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

2 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of Chinese children's reading have focused both on the development and impairment of literacy skills. This article surveys the basics of Chinese literacy development, considering the environments in which reading and writing are taught across Chinese societies, as these may differ in languages and scripts used. It reviews the macro-level variables in reading and writing and highlights the cognitive and linguistic skills that appear to be important for early Chinese reading acquisition and implicated in Chinese developmental dyslexia, including phonological processing, morphological awareness, and visual-orthographic skills. It further takes on parents and home literacy practices in relation to reading and writing achievement in Chinese children in light of a few relatively new studies on Chinese home environments. Although the focus of this article is literacy development in Chinese children, the vast majority of its coverage is on character and word recognition, rather than on text processing. Copyright © 2010 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology
EditorsMichael Harris BOND
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780191743542, 9780199541850, 019954185X
Publication statusPublished - 2010


McBride-Chang, C., Lin, D., Fong, Y. C., & Shu, H. (2010). Language and literacy development in Chinese children. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology (93-108). Oxford: Oxford University Press


  • Literacy development
  • Phonological processing
  • Morphological awareness
  • Visual-orthographic skills
  • Literacy skills


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