ERIC Number: ED366443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Results from the Right Side Up Test: A Cross-Cultural Study of Young Children in the United States and China.
A cross-cultural study examined preschoolers' knowledge of elementary components of the writing system. Subjects were 41 Chinese and 44 American preschool students between the ages of 2 and 4. The students were presented with sets of cards depicting familiar objects, capitalized English letters, and Chinese characters and were asked to turn each of the cards to the correct upright position. The cards were 3 inches square and could be placed in 1 of 4 orientations. It was theorized that the correct upright position for elemental writing units might be one of the first aspects of the writing system that children would learn and be able to demonstrate. It was found that the Chinese children were able to position the Chinese characters correctly with a frequency of 67 percent, while American children positioned the letters correctly with a frequency of 71 percent. The Chinese students were accurate 43 percent of the time in positioning English letters, suggesting the influence of the Roman alphabet in China, while, more surprisingly, the American students were accurate 34 percent of the time in positioning Chinese characters. The latter result may be due to the small size of the sample or to the fact that there is an internal logic to the correct orientation of Chinese characters apparent even to American preschoolers with no exposure to the language. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: China; Pictographs; Print Awareness; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Anaheim, CA, November 10-14, 1993).