An intervention to promote writing abilities among school-aged children with written language disorders in Chinese

Po Yi Tang, Kai Yan Lau

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chinese character writing is considered important for students to “survive” in mainstream education in Hong Kong, as the majority of assessments in schools require individuals to answer in written format. Recent theories further suggest that handwriting practice is essential for an individual to learn the motor representations of writing units of different grain sizes, which in turn strengthens the abstract symbol representations when one learns literacy. In other words, learning to write Chinese characters should be considered not only as a “school-task”, but also as a means to achieve better lexical quality in general. Treatment that can promote writing abilities of Chinese children with writing difficulties is, therefore, necessary.
Methods: A total of six children (4 boys and 2 girls; mean age = 7.95 years) reported to have writing difficulties in Chinese were recruited. They received eight treatment sessions designed to promote their awareness of writing units of different grain sizes in Chinese, consolidate their motor representations of gross- and fine-grain writing units, and facilitate better organization of orthographic representations that allow easy retrieval and processing. A delayed copying task consisting of 10 treatment targets, 10 generalisation targets with untrained characters but trained constituent writing units, and 10 control targets with untrained consistent writing units was conducted before and after treatment.
Results: A 2 (Time) x 3 (Target types) analysis of variance with repeated measures was calculated. Results indicated that the improvements across time on treatment targets and generalisation targets were significant while improvements on control targets were not.
Discussion: The improvement in the delayed copying task on treatment and generalization targets in the absence of improvement on control targets was attributed to the participants’ improved abilities to segment and memorize characters efficiently and effectively using the constituent writing units introduced in the treatment. Limitations and future studies will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event19th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 4 Jul 20237 Jul 2023

Conference

Conference19th International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference
Country/TerritoryAustria
CitySalzburg
Period4/07/237/07/23

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