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postgraduate thesis: Learning to read in two languages : Chinese and English

TitleLearning to read in two languages : Chinese and English
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Shum, K. K. [沈嘉敏]. (2015). Learning to read in two languages : Chinese and English. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5699935
AbstractCan children’s early reading abilities in their first language (L1) predict later literacy development in a second language (L2)? The cross-language relationships between Chinese (L1) and English (L2) among87 elementary school children in Hong Kong were explored in a longitudinal study. Chinese word reading fluency, Chinese rapid digit naming, and Chinese rhyme awareness at age 7 (Grade 1), with age and nonverbal IQ taken into account, were significant concurrent and longitudinal predictors of English word reading, and text-level reading and writing skills across ages 7 to 10. These three measures in Chinese together accounted for 16-28% of unique variance in the English literacy tasks across the three-year period. Moreover, children who showed word reading difficulties in Chinese at Grade 1 also performed significantly worse than average Chinese readers in English reading and related cognitive tasks later on, especially on phonological tasks. Results in this study provided evidence for cross-language transfer of cognitive-linguistic abilities between two distinctly different orthographies. L1 markers underlying reading difficulties in both L1 and L2 can help identify L2 learners at risk for later reading problems, even when their L2 proficiency is too limited to render proper identification. This may in turn facilitate better allocation of educational resources and targeting of early intervention programs. Based on the finding that Chinese word reading fluency was one of the strongest longitudinal predictors of English literacy development, an intervention study was conducted to explore whether repeatedly reading aloud a variety of written symbols can improve word reading fluency performance in Chinese and English. Fifty-nine Grade 2 Hong Kong Chinese children were randomly assigned to either computer-based training on repeated oral reading of digits, alphabetical letters, Chinese characters, and English words, without corrective feedback (experimental group), or online arithmetic games (control group). Reading-aloud training conducted twice a week for 7 weeks significantly improved word reading fluency in both Chinese and English, in contrast to the control group. By contrast, the experimental and control groups did not differ significantly for improvement in word reading accuracy and in the rapid naming of digits and letters. Implications for possible mechanisms underlying the observed intervention effects of repeated oral reading are discussed.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectReading, Psychology of
Dept/ProgramPsychology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223062

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorShum, Kar-man, Kathy-
dc.contributor.author沈嘉敏-
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-17T23:14:43Z-
dc.date.available2016-02-17T23:14:43Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationShum, K. K. [沈嘉敏]. (2015). Learning to read in two languages : Chinese and English. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5699935-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/223062-
dc.description.abstractCan children’s early reading abilities in their first language (L1) predict later literacy development in a second language (L2)? The cross-language relationships between Chinese (L1) and English (L2) among87 elementary school children in Hong Kong were explored in a longitudinal study. Chinese word reading fluency, Chinese rapid digit naming, and Chinese rhyme awareness at age 7 (Grade 1), with age and nonverbal IQ taken into account, were significant concurrent and longitudinal predictors of English word reading, and text-level reading and writing skills across ages 7 to 10. These three measures in Chinese together accounted for 16-28% of unique variance in the English literacy tasks across the three-year period. Moreover, children who showed word reading difficulties in Chinese at Grade 1 also performed significantly worse than average Chinese readers in English reading and related cognitive tasks later on, especially on phonological tasks. Results in this study provided evidence for cross-language transfer of cognitive-linguistic abilities between two distinctly different orthographies. L1 markers underlying reading difficulties in both L1 and L2 can help identify L2 learners at risk for later reading problems, even when their L2 proficiency is too limited to render proper identification. This may in turn facilitate better allocation of educational resources and targeting of early intervention programs. Based on the finding that Chinese word reading fluency was one of the strongest longitudinal predictors of English literacy development, an intervention study was conducted to explore whether repeatedly reading aloud a variety of written symbols can improve word reading fluency performance in Chinese and English. Fifty-nine Grade 2 Hong Kong Chinese children were randomly assigned to either computer-based training on repeated oral reading of digits, alphabetical letters, Chinese characters, and English words, without corrective feedback (experimental group), or online arithmetic games (control group). Reading-aloud training conducted twice a week for 7 weeks significantly improved word reading fluency in both Chinese and English, in contrast to the control group. By contrast, the experimental and control groups did not differ significantly for improvement in word reading accuracy and in the rapid naming of digits and letters. Implications for possible mechanisms underlying the observed intervention effects of repeated oral reading are discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshReading, Psychology of-
dc.titleLearning to read in two languages : Chinese and English-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5699935-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplinePsychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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