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Orthographic Knowledge Important in Comprehending Elementary Chinese Text by Users of Alphasyllabaries

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Orthographic knowledge in Chinese was hypothesized to affect elementary Chinese text comprehension (four essays) by 80 twelve-year-old ethnic alphasyllabary language users compared with 74 native Chinese speakers at similar reading level. This was tested with two rapid automatized naming tasks; two working memory tasks; three orthographic knowledge tasks in Chinese; and equivalent tasks in English. Multivariate analyses of covariance showed that the two groups were differentiated on most of the linguistic and cognitive tasks. Confirmatory factor analyses found four factors as hypothesized: text comprehension, verbal working memory, orthographic knowledge in Chinese, and orthographic knowledge in English. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that orthographic knowledge in Chinese explained a considerable amount of individual variation in elementary Chinese text comprehension.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Educational Psychology & Special Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 2: Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road Hong Kong, China

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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