Longitudinal predictors of spelling and reading comprehension in Chinese as an L1 and English as an L2 in Hong Kong Chinese children.
Journal of Educational Psychology - Vol 102, Iss 2Predictors of age 10 spelling and reading comprehension skills in both Chinese and English from vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), and word reading at age 8 were tested in this longitudinal study of 141 Hong Kong Chinese children learning to read English as a second language. The correlation between spelling in Chinese and English was .64, whereas the correlation between reading comprehension in the two languages was .66. For both Chinese and English spelling, only RAN and word reading in the target language were unique predictors; this association of RAN to spelling was reduced once concurrent spelling in the other language was statistically controlled. In contrast, longitudinal predictors of English reading comprehension were vocabulary knowledge in both Chinese and English, as well as phonological awareness and English word reading. Father's income was a reliable longitudinal predictor of English but not Chinese reading comprehension; girls also tended to be better readers than boys overall. With all other literacy variables included in separate regression equations, spelling or reading comprehension in the other language was uniquely associated with spelling or reading comprehension in the target language, supporting the notion of transfer for each skill. Findings highlight the possibility of transfer in both spelling and reading comprehension from Chinese to English and show that unique longitudinal predictors of L2 English spelling and reading comprehension differ in predictable ways. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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