Modelling linguistic correlates’ influences on Chinese spelling: A study of young Chinese language learners

Yu Ka WONG, Yanling ZHOU, Catherine MCBRIDE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Influences of various Chinese linguistic abilities and awareness on spelling were evaluated with a path model in young Chinese as a second language (CSL) learners. A total of 222 grade-3 Hong Kong’s ethnic minority students, who were given a range of measures including Chinese character reading and spelling, handwriting fluency, orthographic awareness, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and listening comprehension. A path model, fitted well with the data, showed that (1) while character reading had a dominant direct influence (β = .79) on spelling, both orthographic awareness and handwriting fluency also had unique, statistically significant contributions (β = .19 and .10 respectively); (2) Oral-language related competences, including listening comprehension, phonological, and morphological awareness, contributed indirectly through character reading on spelling; and, (3) other than aforementioned direct influence, orthographic awareness also had indirect ones on spelling through character reading and handwriting fluency, respectively. It was argued that, given the complexity of Chinese orthography, Chinese spelling in CSL learners depends on (1) good character reading, which is related to a range of oral and metalinguistic competences, reflecting high-quality mental representations of characters, and (2) fluent handwriting skill to deliver the representations. Orthographic awareness is a critical component skill facilitating spelling directly and indirectly through reading and handwriting. Copyright © 2020 ARWA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Citation

Wong, Y. K., Zhou, Y., & McBride, C. (2020, September). Modelling linguistic correlates’ influences on Chinese spelling: A study of young Chinese language learners [Zoom]. Paper presented at the 4th Annual Conference for the Association for Reading and Writing in Asia (ARWA 2020), Beijing, China.

Keywords

  • Chinese as a second language
  • Chinese spelling
  • Handwriting fluency

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