The study examined the associations of speech-print mapping awareness to metalinguistic awareness and particularly to Chinese word reading developmentally in kindergarten first grade (K1) with 97 children and second grade (K2) with 91 children. Speech-print mapping awareness was measured in two tasks of syllable mapping and word mapping. The results showed that children's speech-print mapping awareness increased steadily and significantly from K1 to K2. Notably, speech-print mapping awareness was found to be uniquely predictive of Chinese word reading and emerged as the only predictor in the final Beta weight in regression analyses, with age, non-verbal reasoning, visual skills, morphological awareness, phonological awareness, and orthographic awareness statistically controlled in the K1 grade. However, in the K2 grade, interestingly, with the same variables controlled, orthographic awareness and phonological awareness became significant predictors of Chinese word reading, although significant correlations were found with Chinese word reading to morphological awareness and speech-print mapping awareness. The results highlight the importance of speech-print mapping awareness in Chinese beginning readers. The understanding of how speech is mapped to print may be fundamental for beginners to learn to read. Perhaps after children have got the basic concept of speech-print connections, they can more consciously attend to the structure of phonology, orthography, or meaning within syllables or words, thus phonological, orthographic, and morphological awareness becomes more important in K2 as compared in K1. Copyright © 2013 Society for the Scientific Studies of Reading (SSSR).
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2013|