Writing quality predicts Chinese learning
Guan, Connie Qun
Harris, Lindsay N., 1979--
Perfetti, Charles A.
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To examine the importance of manual character writing to reading in a new writing system, 48 adult Chinese-as-a-foreign-language students were taught characters in either a character writing-to-read or an alphabet typing-to-read condition, and engaged in corresponding handwriting or typing training for five consecutive days. Prior knowledge of orthography and phonology was assessed before training. At the end of each training day, improved orthographic quality was assessed via increased skill in producing Chinese characters at both the component and global levels. In addition, pretests and posttests were administered at each training day, and the proportional changes were used as the measure of learning gains. Outcomes replicated earlier findings of improved phonological knowledge following pinyin-typing practice and improved semantic knowledge following handwriting practice. Improvement in handwriting quality played a significant role in predicting reading gains after controlling for prior knowledge.