Learning to read Chinese in very young L2 Chinese learners in Hong Kong

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Abstract

This research examined some of the key correlates of early Chinese reading in L2 ethnic minority Chinese speaking kindergarteners in Hong Kong. A total of 127 ethnic minority first or second year kindergarten children (mean age = 51.01 months; SD = 7.53 months) were recruited for this study. Their mother tongues included English, Urdu, Nepali, Punjabi, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, Bahahsa Indonesia, Bengali, Dutch, Esan, Ewe, French, Kinyarwanda, Russian, and Tamil. We administered tests that tapped a range of early Chinese literacy related skills including Chinese word reading, Cantonese phonological processing skills, vocabulary knowledge, early orthographic skills and copying skills. A partial correlation analysis was performed after controlling grade and non-verbal intelligence. Similar to that for L1 Chinese speaking children, the results revealed Chinese phonological processing skills, vocabulary knowledge, early orthographic and copying skill were all significantly correlated with Chinese word reading skills. Regression analysis suggested that Chinese expressive vocabulary, phonological awareness, orthographic discrimination and pure copying made unique contributions in early Chinese word reading for L2 ethnic minority children in Hong Kong. The discussion is surrounded the suggestion for pedagogy for L2 Chinese acquisition in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2018 ICPEAL 17 - CLDC 9.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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learning to read
Hong Kong
national minority
vocabulary
speaking
kindergarten child
mother tongue
Tamil
Indonesia
intelligence
regression analysis
discrimination
literacy

Citation

Zhou, Y., McBride, C., & Chung, K. (2018, October). Learning to read Chinese in very young L2 Chinese learners in Hong Kong. Paper presented at The 17th International Conference on the Processing of East Asian Languages and the 9th Conference on Language, Discourse, and Cognition (ICPEAL 17 – CLDC 9), National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.