Early prediction of reading development in Japanese hiragana and kanji: a longitudinal study from kindergarten to grade 1

Takayuki Tanji, Tomohiro Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the cognitive predictors of early word reading skills in Japanese syllabic Hiragana and morphographic Kanji. Eighty-three Japanese kindergarten children (M age = 75.6 months, SD = 3.4) were assessed on nonverbal IQ, vocabulary, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), phonological memory, morphological awareness, and visual discrimination at the end of kindergarten (T1). Their word reading fluency in Hiragana was assessed at T1 and reassessed in Grade 1 (T2), and their reading accuracy in Kanji was assessed at T2. Results of path analysis showed that phonological awareness, RAN, phonological memory, and visual discrimination were associated with Hiragana word reading fluency at T1, whereas morphological awareness uniquely predicted Hiragana word reading fluency at T2. Additionally, RAN, morphological awareness, vocabulary, and visual discrimination, but not Hiragana reading accuracy, uniquely predicted Kanji reading at T2. The findings provided evidence that RAN, morphological awareness, and visual discrimination play important roles in early reading development across the two contrastive scripts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReading and Writing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Early reading development
  • Morphological awareness
  • Phonological awareness
  • Rapid automatized naming (RAN)
  • Visual discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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