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ERIC Number: EJ1142491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jun
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
Radical Sensitivity Is the Key to Understanding Chinese Character Acquisition in Children
Tong, Xiuhong; Tong, Xiuli; McBride, Catherine
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v30 n6 p1251-1265 Jun 2017
This study investigated Chinese children's development of sensitivity to positional (orthographic), phonological, and semantic cues of radicals in encoding novel Chinese characters. A newly designed picture-novel character mapping task, along with nonverbal reasoning ability, vocabulary, and Chinese character recognition were administered to 198 kindergartners, 172 second graders and 165 fifth graders. Children's strategies in using positional, phonological, and semantic cues of radicals varied across grades. The higher the children's grade level, the more commonly children used semantic and positional cues of radicals. Regression analyses showed that the contribution of semantic radical awareness for explaining Chinese character reading increased as children's grade increased, whereas the contribution of positional regularity awareness decreased. These findings suggest that learning Chinese characters involves a transition from a sound- and position-based approach to a meaning-based approach.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A