The influence of sensory-motor components of handwriting on Chinese character learning in second- and fourth-grade Chinese children

Zhengye XU, Duo LIU, R. Malatesha JOSHI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

In the present study, 144 second- and 150 fourth-grade Chinese students were recruited to complete a Chinese character learning task to explore the specific contributions of sensory-motor components (i.e., visual, motor, and haptic systems) of handwriting to Chinese character learning. After matching for age, nonverbal IQ, and a series of cognitive-linguistic skills, each child was assigned to 1 of 4 training conditions (i.e., reading, visual processing, air-writing, or handwriting) to investigate the specific contributions of the sensory-motor components (i.e., visual, motor, and haptic systems) of handwriting to Chinese character learning. In the reading condition, the children were shown images of characters. In the other 3 conditions, they were shown animations of how a given character is written. The participants were asked to view the animations in the visual processing condition, whereas in the air-writing and handwriting conditions they were asked, respectively, to follow the animations and write the Chinese characters with their index fingers in the air or write the Chinese characters with a pen on paper. They were asked to name the learnt characters in the posttest. Both air-writing and handwriting elicited a larger training effect than reading or visual processing, but there was no difference between the air-writing and handwriting groups. Also, no age differences were found in either the air-writing or the handwriting conditions. Unique contributions of visual-motor integration, motor programming, and their corresponding integration with a haptic system of handwriting to reading are discussed. Copyright © 2019 American Psychological Association.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

Citation

Xu, Z., Liu, D., & Joshi, R. M. (2019). The influence of sensory-motor components of handwriting on Chinese character learning in second- and fourth-grade Chinese children. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/edu0000443

Keywords

  • Haptic
  • Motor skills
  • Stroke order
  • Visual processing
  • Visual-motor integration

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