How do metalinguistic awareness, working memory, reasoning, and inhibition contribute to Chinese character reading of kindergarten children?

Xiujie Yang, Peng Peng, Xiangzhi Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the contributions of general cognitive skills (working memory, inhibition, and reasoning) and metalinguistic awareness to young children's character reading. One hundred eighty-nine Chinese children, aged from 60 to 78 months, were administered with measures of character recognition, language, metalinguistic awareness (phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and orthographic knowledge), and general cognitive processing (working memory, inhibition, and reasoning) in two kindergartens. Results showed both metalinguistic awareness and general cognitive processing contributed to children's character reading ability. Particularly, after controlling for age, gender, and language, metalinguistic awareness and general cognitive processing, respectively, explained 20% and 16% of the variance in children's character reading, among which phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and reasoning made unique contributions to Chinese reading. Of these skills, orthographic knowledge showed the strongest relation to Chinese character reading. Findings highlight that both general cognitive processing and metalinguistic awareness are important for young Chinese children in character reading acquisition. Highlights: We investigated the contributions of working memory, inhibition, reasoning, and metalinguistic awareness to young Chinese children's character reading. Reasoning, phonological awareness, and orthographic knowledge made unique contributions to Chinese reading. Of these skills, orthographic knowledge seemed to be the highest correlate to Chinese character reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2122
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019

Keywords

  • Chinese character reading
  • kindergarten children
  • orthographic knowledge
  • phonological awareness
  • reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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