The present study explored the developmental trend of orthographic awareness in Chinese-speaking preschoolers. A total of 184 children between 3 and 5 years of age participated in the study. Two developmental patterns of orthographic awareness were obtained. One pattern was dependent on a traditional Chinese orthographic hierarchy, with a sequence of writing system specificity, radical, whole character, radical combination rules, and stroke. Three-year-olds fully understood the writing-system-specific features of Chinese characters, and could distinguish characters from alphabetic scripts and drawings; the average accuracy was >80 %. Five-year-olds were able to distinguish radicals from numbers, as well as regard non-characters with rotated radicals and missing radicals as illegal; the average accuracy was 87 %. At 5 years of age, children could detect whole character rotated non-characters with an average accuracy of 78 %, but were not proficient in identifying non-characters with absent strokes (the average accuracy was 69 %). The 5-year-old children did not know well about radical combination rules; the average accuracy was 67 %. The other pattern was associated with violation means of non-characters, which could be characterized as progressing from form types, to spatial formats, and finally to combination conventions. Children grasped legal form types of scripts (Chinese characters and radicals) at 3 years of age, with an average accuracy approaching 80 %. Five-year-old children detected illegal spatial characteristics of characters, such as up-down reversal, with an average accuracy of 78 %. However, children were unable to understand radical combination conventions even at 5 years of age; average accuracy was 67 %.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 13, 2014
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