ERIC Number: ED365946
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Incidental Learning of Word Meanings While Reading: A Chinese and American Cross-Cultural Study. Technical Report No. 593.
Shu, Hua; And Others
A study investigated children's natural learning of word meanings while reading. Subjects, 447 American and Chinese children in third and fifth grades, read one of two cross-translated stories and then completed a test on the difficult words in both stories. Results indicated: (1) significant incidental learning of word meanings in both grades in both countries; (2) in each country, incidental word learning appeared on both easy and difficult test questions and among children at all levels of ability; (3) for children from both cultures, the strength of contextual support in the stories and the conceptual difficulty of the words affected learning; and (4) the morphological transparency of words influenced word learning among Chinese fifth graders, but not among American children in either grade. Considering the many differences in language and culture between China and America, the findings suggest that incidental acquisition of word meanings while reading is a universal in written language development. (Thirteen tables of data are included; 57 references and English and Chinese target words from the texts are attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.
Identifiers: China; United States; Words