Disentangling the role of RAN on word reading and arithmetic accuracy in second grade Hong Kong Chinese children

Disentangling the role of RAN on word reading and arithmetic accuracy in second grade Hong Kong Chinese children

First Author: Phil, Duo Liu -- The Education University of Hong Kong
Additional authors/chairs: 
Terry Tin-Yau Wong; R. Malatesha Joshi
Keywords: Chinese children, rapid automatized naming, Word reading, Grade 1-2, Mathematics
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the role of Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) on word reading and arithmetic ability of Chinese children by considering the mediation effects of domain-general and domain-specific factors.
Method: A total of 301 second grade Hong Kong Chinese children (mean age = 97.34 months, SD = 5.20) participated in this study. In the arithmetic accuracy task, children were asked to complete 28 arithmetic items with varying difficulties. In the word reading task, they were asked to read aloud 120 Chinese two-character words. These two measures were administered twice, once in grade 1 and another time in grade 2. Children’s working memory, processing speed, and visual attention were included as domain-general measures. Morphological awareness and phoneme awareness were included as the domain-specific predictors of reading, while nonsymbolic numerical magnitude comparison, number line estimation were involved as the domain-specific predictors of arithmetic accuracy.
Results: After controlling for age, non-verbal IQ, and T1 word reading, none of domain-general factors significantly mediated the role of RAN on word reading, while morphological awareness showed significant mediation effect as a domain-specific factor. After controlling for age, non-verbal IQ, and T1 arithmetic accuracy, visual working memory was the only domain-general mediator of the role of RAN on arithmetic accuracy, while no domain-specific factors showed significant mediation effect.
Conclusion: The findings suggests that the role of RAN on word reading may be mainly disentangled by domain-specific factors, while its role on arithmetic accuracy may be mainly disentangled by domain-general factors.