Early difficulties of Chinese preschoolers at familial risk for dyslexia: Deficits in oral language, phonological processing skills, and print-related skills

Connie Suk-Han Ho, Man Tak Leung, Him Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The present study examined some early performance difficulties of Chinese preschoolers at familial risk for dyslexia. Seventy-six high-risk (40 good and 36 poor readers) and 25 low-risk Chinese children were tested on oral language, reading-related cognitive skills (e.g. phonological processing skills, rapid naming, and morphological awareness), and Chinese word reading and spelling over a 3-year period. The parents were also given a behaviour checklist for identifying child at-risk behaviours. Results showed that the High Risk (Poor Reading) group performed significantly worse than the Low Risk and the High Risk (Good Reading) group on most of the measures and domains. More children in the High Risk (Poor Reading) group displayed at-risk behaviours than in the other two groups. These results suggest that Chinese at-risk children with early difficulties in reading and spelling do show a wide range of language-, phonology-, and print-related deficits, similar to their alphabetic counterparts. An understanding of these early difficulties may help prevent dyslexia from developing in at-risk children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-164
Number of pages22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • at-risk children
  • Chinese developmental dyslexia
  • oral language
  • phonological skills
  • print-related skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education

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