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postgraduate thesis: Investigating cognitive abilities in Chinese reading and dictation : a training and correlation study

TitleInvestigating cognitive abilities in Chinese reading and dictation : a training and correlation study
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Qi, Y. [亓玉杰]. (2016). Investigating cognitive abilities in Chinese reading and dictation : a training and correlation study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThis thesis examines the unique role of writing in reading and dictation as well as the common and unique cognitive abilities related to reading and dictation development among Chinese children. While it is generally accepted that phonological awareness is of critical importance for both reading and spelling in alphabetic languages (Goswami, 2000), writing seems to play an essential role in reading logographic Chinese. Recent correlation studies among young Chinese children (e.g., Tan et al., 2005) and training studies among adult second language learners of Chinese (e.g., Guan et al., 2011) showed that writing is closely related to the learning of Chinese characters. To further examine the underlying mechanism of the contribution of writing in learning Chinese characters, this thesis compared writing training with reading-only training (Study 1a) and with orthographic training (Study 1b) among Grade One primary school children in Mainland China. Study 1 provides evidence of strong but differential writing facilitation effects on the learning of Chinese characters in various aspects including reading and dictation ability. As the findings of Study 1 showed that writing facilitation effect was stronger on dictation performance than on reading performance, it is hypothesized that reading and dictation in Chinese are not like reading and spelling in alphabetic languages since Chinese has its own language-specific features. In order to verify this hypothesis and provide more evidence of how certain cognitive abilities contribute to reading and dictation separately, Study 2 examined the contributions of various aspects of cognitive abilities including non-verbal intelligence, orthographic awareness, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, visual-motor skills, and working memory, to reading and dictation ability among 126 primary school children of two groups (beginning readers and intermediate readers) in Mainland China. Commonalities as well as differences between reading and dictation were identified at different stages of learning. It is found that reading in Chinese depends heavily on phonological awareness, as the universal phonological principle (Perfetti et al., 1992) predicts, but dictation does not, quite unlike the situation in alphabetic languages. However, dictation in Chinese is found to rely more on cognitive abilities that involve some visual orthographic aspects of processing like orthographic awareness and writing skill. These findings have important theoretical as well as pedagogical implications for Chinese literacy development. The training study provides evidence in support of the important role of writing in learning Chinese, as well as the motor programming hypothesis of the writing facilitation effect (Tan et al., 2005). The findings of the correlation study further extend the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2007) by showing that differential demands of the quality of lexical representations exist in reading and dictation in Chinese. Specifically, reading depends more on phonological lexical quality and dictation more on orthographic lexical quality. It is therefore proposed that writing practice should be encouraged among young native Chinese children. To better learn to read, phonological awareness should be enhanced, and to better learn to write to dictation, orthographic awareness should be emphasized, together with other related cognitive abilities at different stages of learning.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectChinese characters
Reading
childen Writing
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233929

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorQi, Yujie-
dc.contributor.author亓玉杰-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-07T01:44:33Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-07T01:44:33Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationQi, Y. [亓玉杰]. (2016). Investigating cognitive abilities in Chinese reading and dictation : a training and correlation study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233929-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the unique role of writing in reading and dictation as well as the common and unique cognitive abilities related to reading and dictation development among Chinese children. While it is generally accepted that phonological awareness is of critical importance for both reading and spelling in alphabetic languages (Goswami, 2000), writing seems to play an essential role in reading logographic Chinese. Recent correlation studies among young Chinese children (e.g., Tan et al., 2005) and training studies among adult second language learners of Chinese (e.g., Guan et al., 2011) showed that writing is closely related to the learning of Chinese characters. To further examine the underlying mechanism of the contribution of writing in learning Chinese characters, this thesis compared writing training with reading-only training (Study 1a) and with orthographic training (Study 1b) among Grade One primary school children in Mainland China. Study 1 provides evidence of strong but differential writing facilitation effects on the learning of Chinese characters in various aspects including reading and dictation ability. As the findings of Study 1 showed that writing facilitation effect was stronger on dictation performance than on reading performance, it is hypothesized that reading and dictation in Chinese are not like reading and spelling in alphabetic languages since Chinese has its own language-specific features. In order to verify this hypothesis and provide more evidence of how certain cognitive abilities contribute to reading and dictation separately, Study 2 examined the contributions of various aspects of cognitive abilities including non-verbal intelligence, orthographic awareness, phonological awareness, morphological awareness, visual-motor skills, and working memory, to reading and dictation ability among 126 primary school children of two groups (beginning readers and intermediate readers) in Mainland China. Commonalities as well as differences between reading and dictation were identified at different stages of learning. It is found that reading in Chinese depends heavily on phonological awareness, as the universal phonological principle (Perfetti et al., 1992) predicts, but dictation does not, quite unlike the situation in alphabetic languages. However, dictation in Chinese is found to rely more on cognitive abilities that involve some visual orthographic aspects of processing like orthographic awareness and writing skill. These findings have important theoretical as well as pedagogical implications for Chinese literacy development. The training study provides evidence in support of the important role of writing in learning Chinese, as well as the motor programming hypothesis of the writing facilitation effect (Tan et al., 2005). The findings of the correlation study further extend the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2007) by showing that differential demands of the quality of lexical representations exist in reading and dictation in Chinese. Specifically, reading depends more on phonological lexical quality and dictation more on orthographic lexical quality. It is therefore proposed that writing practice should be encouraged among young native Chinese children. To better learn to read, phonological awareness should be enhanced, and to better learn to write to dictation, orthographic awareness should be emphasized, together with other related cognitive abilities at different stages of learning.-
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.lcshChinese characters-
dc.subject.lcshReading-
dc.subject.lcshchilden Writing-
dc.titleInvestigating cognitive abilities in Chinese reading and dictation : a training and correlation study-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5793635-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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