Development of Chinese handwriting skills among kindergarten children: Copying of the composition in Chinese characters and name writing

Linda F.L. Tse, Man Hong Andrew Siu, Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Although copying and name writing skills are regarded as the indicators of handwriting development in alphabetic writing systems, there is limited information on logographs such as Chinese. Chinese characters are not only simply a combination of strokes as letters in English, but also place a great demand on visuospatial ability to maintain good proportion and alignment of these interwoven strokes. This study investigated the developmental characteristics of visuo-orthographic copying on the composition of Chinese characters, namely strokes, radicals and characters, and Chinese name writing among kindergarten children in Hong Kong. A group of 141 children from the first to third year of kindergarten education (K1 to K3) were recruited. They were asked to complete two tasks: (1) visuo-orthographic copying of common Chinese strokes, radicals, and characters; and (2) write down their Chinese name from memory. Overall, the abilities of Chinese name writing were moderately to strongly related with the abilities in copying the composition of Chinese characters. It also showed that copying radicals significantly predicted Chinese name writing ability. The results suggested that copying radicals provided a foundation so that a good spatial organization of these components within a square configuration could be achieved in the name writing task. It recommended that copying of strokes, radicals, and characters should be addressed as a whole for the Chinese handwriting development. In addition, Chinese name writing skills should also be assessed to provide a window on the understanding of the transition of copying skills into Chinese handwriting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-51
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Chinese
  • copying
  • Development
  • kindergarten children
  • name writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Occupational Therapy


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