Visual Processing Matters in Chinese Reading Acquisition and Early Mathematics

Visual Processing Matters in Chinese Reading Acquisition and Early Mathematics

First Author: Xiujie Yang -- Beijng Normal University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Xiangzhi Meng
Keywords: Chinese children, (Chinese) characters, visual-spatial skills, Mathematics, Longitudinal
Abstract / Summary: 

The main purpose of the present study is to investigate whether visual processing
uniquely contributes to early academic development, namely reading acquisition and early
mathematics, in Chinese children. Eighty-two Chinese kindergarteners at K3 (Mean age=68
months, SD=0.30) were followed up to grade one (Mean age=82 months, SD=0.35) with an
interval of 14 months. Nonverbal intelligence, inhibitory control, sustained attention,
character reading, and mathematics were measured at kindergarten. Character reading and
mathematics were assessed again at grade one. Results showed visual processing at
kindergarten significantly predicted reading performance at grade one after controlling age,
gender, nonverbal IQ, inhibitory control, sustained attention and initial reading performance.
Similarly, visual processing at kindergarten explained unique variance in early mathematics
at grade one when other cognitive measures and initial mathematics at kindergarten were
controlled. These findings suggest that visual processing should serve as a domain-general
precursor of children’s early academic development and therefore is the foundations of
learning, especially for reading and mathematics.