The present study tested the self-teaching hypothesis in orthographic learning in Chinese and examined the roles of semantic radicals and writing practice. Twenty-four Mandarin-speaking third graders read and comprehended eight two-sentence stories in a read-twice condition and eight in a read-write condition. Each story contained two pseudo-characters exposed to children four times. The pseudo-character was varied on the availability of a phonetic radical (presence vs. absence of phonological recoding) and the transparency of a semantic radical (transparent vs. opaque). Orthographic learning was measured via Orthographic Choice and Character Writing posttests at two time points, immediately and again after seven days. Children demonstrated robust orthographic learning across all conditions. Phonological recoding facilitated children’s character writing. Writing practice enhanced phonological recoding and benefitted their orthographic recognition. Semantically transparent radicals improved children’s orthographic recognition. Our findings suggest that phonological recoding, semantic information and writing practice may jointly contribute to children’s orthographic learning. Copyright © 2019 Society for the Scientific Study of Reading.