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Cognitive and linguistic factors affecting alphasyllabary language users comprehending Chinese text

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Title:Cognitive and linguistic factors affecting alphasyllabary language users comprehending Chinese text
Authors:Shum, Mark Shiu Kee
Ki, Wing Wah
Leong, Che Kan
Keywords:Chinese text comprehension
alphasyllabary learners
working memory
sentence processing
Date Issued:Apr 2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract:Two groups of 13 to14-year-old alphasyllabary language users (mainly Hindi and Urdu), in integrated or designated school settings (respectively 40 and 48 students), were compared with 59 Chinese students in comprehending 4 elementary Chinese texts, each with three inferential questions requiring short open-ended written answers. Three constructs each with two indicators were hypothesized to predict text comprehension differentially in the three groups: verbal working memory, orthographic processing and sentence processing. The 147 students also completed a short questionnaire on their reading and writing of Chinese, a 43-item Students’ Approaches to Learning and a non-verbal general intelligence test. Multivariate analyses of variance and hierarchical multiple regression analyses point to the significant contribution of verbal span working memory, orthographic choice in context and sentence processing in Chinese to Chinese text comprehension. Educational implications include strengthening teaching the structure and function of Chinese characters and words to enhance text comprehension.
Appears in Collections: Volume 26, No. 1

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