Pathways to arithmetic: The role of visual-spatial and language skills in written arithmetic, arithmetic word problems, and nonsymbolic arithmetic

Xiao ZHANG, Dan LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study set out to develop and test a pathway model of the relations between general cognitive skills, specifically visual-spatial and spoken and written language skills, and competence in three forms of arithmetic that vary in modes of number representation. A total of 88 Chinese 4-year-olds participated and were tested first in kindergarten second grade (K2) and then in kindergarten third grade (K3). Language skills, including phonological, morphological, and visual-orthographic skills, and visual-spatial skills were measured at K2, and arithmetic outcomes, including written arithmetic, word problems, and nonsymbolic arithmetic, at K3. The results generally supported our model. Specifically, visual-spatial skills contributed to the prediction of all three types of arithmetic outcomes. Morphological skills predicted word problems, whereas phonological skills predicted written arithmetic. Finally, visual-orthographic skills contributed to both written and nonsymbolic arithmetic. These findings underscore the importance of delineating the specificity of cognitive processes in learning diverse forms of arithmetic. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-197
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online dateJan 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Citation

Zhang, X., & Lin, D. (2015). Pathways to arithmetic: The role of visual-spatial and language skills in written arithmetic, arithmetic word problems, and nonsymbolic arithmetic. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 41(2), 188-197.

Keywords

  • Arithmetic
  • Mathematics
  • Visual-spatial skills
  • Phonological skills
  • Morphological skills
  • Visual-orthographic skills

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