Longitudinal relationships between syntactic skills and Chinese written composition in Grades 3 to 6

Pui-sze YEUNG, Connie Suk-han HO, David Wai-ock CHAN, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

Background: Studies have shown that word dictation and syntactic skills are significant predictors of written composition performance among Chinese children in elementary grades. However, there is a paucity of research on the bidirectional relationships between these two cognitive‐linguistic skills (i.e., word dictation and syntactic skills) and Chinese writing skills.

Methods: This paper reports the findings of a 1‐year longitudinal study tracking the developmental patterns of Chinese writing among students in Grades 3 and 5 in Hong Kong. The participants were administered tasks involving cognitive‐linguistic skills (working memory, word dictation and syntactic skills) and writing skills (narrative writing and expository writing).

Results: Multiple regression analysis revealed that word dictation and syntactic skills in Grades 3 and 5 were significant longitudinal predictors of Chinese written composition performance in Grade 4 and Grade 6. Syntactic skills, but not word dictation, contributed a significant amount of unique variance to writing performance after controlling for the autoregressor effect of writing. The results also showed that written composition performance in Grades 3 and 5 contributed unique variance to individual differences in syntactic skills in Grades 4 and 6, after controlling for syntactic skills in the preceding year and other cognitive‐linguistic variables.

Conclusion: The patterns of results underscore the significance of syntactic skills in Chinese written composition in upper elementary grades and the bidirectional relationship between syntactic skills and written composition in Chinese. Copyright © 2020 UKLA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-228
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Volume43
Issue number2
Early online dateFeb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Citation

Yeung, P.-S., Ho, C. S.-H., Chan, D. W.-O., & Chung, K. K.-H. (2020). Longitudinal relationships between syntactic skills and Chinese written composition in Grades 3 to 6. Journal of Research in Reading, 43(2), 201-228. doi: 10.1111/1467-9817.12298

Keywords

  • Chinese
  • Syntactic skills
  • Writing

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