Young children's number sense in Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore

Pirjo AUNIO, Jessie EE, Swee Eng Audrey LIM, Jarkko HAUTAMAKI, Johhannes E. H. VAN LUIT

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45 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines young children's number sense in subjects from Finland (n=254), Hong Kong (n=246), and Singapore (n=130). Chinese, English and Finnish versions of the Early Numeracy Test (ENT; Van Luit et al., 1994) were used. Two highly correlated aspects of number sense were measured, one reflecting children's abilities to organize and compare quantities (i.e. relational skills), and the other pertaining to their ability to operate with number-word sequence (i.e. counting skills). The results showed significant age-related gain on the relational and counting scales. No gender or language differences were found. The children in Hong Kong and Singapore outperformed those in Finland in relational and counting tasks starting at the age of four years. The children in Singapore also had better relational and counting skills than those in Hong Kong. Differences in teaching were assumed to explain the findings. Copyright © 2004 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


Aunio, P., Ee, J., Lim, S. E. A., Hautamaki, J., & Van Luit, J. E. H. (2004). Young children's number sense in Finland, Hong Kong and Singapore. International Journal of Early Years Education, 12(3), 195-216.


  • Apperception
  • Counting
  • Mathematical ability
  • Mathematical linguistics
  • Number concept
  • Number concept in children
  • Numeracy
  • Relational grammar


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