Visual spatial skill: A consequence of learning to read?

Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG, Yanling ZHOU, Jeung-Ryeul CHO, Dorit ARAM, Iris LEVIN, Liliana TOLCHINSKY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Does learning to read influence one’s visual skill? In Study 1, kindergartners from Hong Kong, Korea, Israel, and Spain were tested on word reading and a task of visual spatial skill. Chinese and Korean kindergartners significantly outperformed Israeli and Spanish readers on the visual task. Moreover, in all cultures except Korea, good readers scored significantly higher on the visual task than did less good readers. In Study 2, we followed 215 Hong Kong Chinese kindergartners across 1 year, with word reading and visual skills tested twice. In this study, word reading at Time 1 by itself predicted 13% of unique variance in visual skill at Time 2. Together, these results underscore the potential importance of the process of learning to read for shaping one’s visual spatial skill development. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-262
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


McBride-Chang, C., Zhou, Y., Cho, J.-R., Aram, D., Levin, I., & Tolchinsky, L. (2011). Visual spatial skills: A consequence of learning to read? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109(2), 256-262. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2010.12.003


  • Visual skill
  • Word reading
  • Orthography
  • Cross-cultural
  • Chinese
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish


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