The current study examined the construct of word-reading skills within and across English and Chinese. One hundred forty-three 5th graders who were native Chinese (Mandarin) speakers learning English as a second language completed 19 tasks representing phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and word decoding in both English and Chinese. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted within each language, and the results showed that the best-fitting model for both languages was the 3-factor model involving phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and word decoding. Across the 2 languages, the language-specific model fit better than other models with 1 or 2 language-general factors. These results suggest that word reading is not a unified, language-general ability within and across English and Chinese among Chinese children learning English as a second language. Instruction and intervention may need to target phonological awareness, orthographic knowledge, and word decoding in each language.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (miscellaneous)