Role of Radical Awareness in the Character and Word Acquisition of Chinese Children. Technical Report No. 615

TitleRole of Radical Awareness in the Character and Word Acquisition of Chinese Children. Technical Report No. 615
http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED391145
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsShu, H., & Anderson R. C.
KeywordsChina, Chinese, Comparative Analysis. Decoding (Reading), Elementary Education, Reading Achievement, Reading Research, Reading Skills, Word Recognition, Word Study Skills
AbstractA total of 292 Chinese children in the first, third, or fifth grade in Beijing, China, participated in one of two experiments investigating radical awareness; that is, the knowledge that a component of most Chinese characters, called the radical, usually provides information about a character's meaning. The technique was to present two-character words familiar from oral language but which the children had not seen before in print. One of the characters was written in Pinyin, the alphabetic system that every Chinese child learns in the first two months of first grade. The children's task was to select a character to replace the Pinyin. The first experiment showed that third graders and fifth graders are able to select characters containing the correct radicals even when the characters as a whole are unfamiliar to them, which must mean that they are aware of the relationship between a radical and the meaning of a character. The second experiment showed that children are better able to use radicals to derive the meanings of new characters when the radicals are familiar and the conceptual difficulty of the words is low. Children rated by their teachers as high in verbal ability display more awareness of radicals than children rated lower in verbal ability. (Contains 28 references, 5 tables of data, and ANOVA summaries for each of the experiments.) (Author/RS)
URLhttp://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED391145