Predictors of Chinese character acquisition as a second language among kindergarteners: A three-wave longitudinal study

Sing Pui Tikky TO-CHAN, Elizabeth K. Y. LOH, Cathy O. Y. HUNG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The present study focused on the development of Chinese character acquisition among 56 ethnic minority kindergarten students learning Chinese as a second language using a 3-year longitudinal study design. Based on the “learner framework for processing Chinese as a second language” (Liu, Wang, & Perfetti, 2007), the present study examined the contribution of orthographic knowledge and character naming, in Chinese character acquisition development among these young nonnative children. A battery of tasks, including character naming, orthographic knowledge task, character-meaning matching picture task, mental lexicon task, was assessed at the end of K1, K2, and K3. Hierarchical regression analysis results showed that character naming at K1 and orthographic knowledge at K2 were significant longitudinal predictors to character meaning identification at K3, even after controlling for age and vocabulary. Both character naming and orthographic knowledge were concurrently significant predictors to character meaning identification at K3. The results illustrated that acquisition of character meaning began from learning to map orthographic form on pronunciation, then awareness of orthographic composition structures of characters. The findings also illustrated the difference in the acquisition of Chinese among young nonnative children learning Chinese as a second language from that among the adult learners suggested in the “learner framework”. Copyright © 2018 CACLER-5.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

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longitudinal study
language
learning
kindergarten
national minority
vocabulary
regression analysis
student

Citation

To-Chan, T. S. P., Loh, E. K. Y., & Hung, C. O. Y. (2018, June). Predictors of Chinese character acquisition as a second language among kindergarteners: A three-wave longitudinal study. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Chinese as a Second Language Research, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.