The use of orthographic analogies in learning to read Chinese

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1999 Mar;40(3):393-403. doi: 10.1017/s0021963098003631.


Two studies, comprising training in phonological analogy and semantic analogy with pre-and post-training assessments, were conducted to investigate whether young children made orthographic analogies in learning to read a nonalphabetic script, Chinese, as alphabetic readers do. Twenty Chinese first-graders and 20 third-graders participated in each of the studies. The results showed that not only the third-graders, but also the first-graders made phonological analogies by the phonetic (i.e. the orthographic component in a Chinese character that provides sound cues) and semantic analogies by the radical (i.e. the orthographic component that provides meaning cues). It was, therefore, suggested that the roles and functions of the phonetics and radicals could be taught explicitly in school from an early age to help improve children's reading skills.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • China / ethnology
  • Concept Formation / physiology
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Logic
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Phonetics*
  • Reading*
  • Semantics*
  • Students / psychology
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*