The present study aimed to examine the potential importance of orthographic flexibility for Chinese reading acquisition. Orthographic flexibility is a novel concept that represents the ability to manage and switch attention among multiple aspects of orthographic information. A total of 92 Chinese kindergarten children at age 6 were assessed on measures of orthographic flexibility, orthographic knowledge, executive functions (EF) skills (i.e. cognitive flexibility and working memory) and Chinese word reading. Results of hierarchical regressions showed that orthographic flexibility uniquely and significantly contributed to word reading beyond the effects of established predictors, namely orthographic knowledge and EF skills. Path analysis further indicated that orthographic flexibility significantly mediated the contribution of EF skills to word reading. These findings provided theoretical insights into the linkage between domain-general EF skills and domain-specific reading ability. The present study also provided practical implication that training on orthographic flexibility in addition to orthographic knowledge could be beneficial to early acquisition of Chinese word reading. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationFong, C. Y. C., & Chung, P. Y. (2020). The role of orthographic flexibility in Chinese word reading among kindergarten children. Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/01443410.2020.1716953
- Executive functions
- Cognitive flexibility
- Orthographic flexibility
- Word reading