THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VISUAL MODALITY FOR AIDING WORD MASTERY IN CHINESE BILINGUALS

COLETTE OSBORNE-WILSON, Fordham University

Abstract

Recent work in the area of cognition has proposed that reading differing scripts entails use of different processing strategies to gain efficient reading. The Chinese language utilizes a writing system stressing logography, or the use of written signs to express words of the spoken language in Chinese. Once in America, Chinese students must now master the alphabetical script, emphasizing sound-symbol correspondence for attaining success in learning to read in English.^ These latter differences have caused researchers to hypothesize that, for beginning to read in Chinese, stress is placed more on right hemispheric operations. In contrast, for beginning reading in English, it is already commonly known that far greater stress is placed on left hemispheric operations with focus on sequencing. When stress is placed on these right hemispheric operations, focus is placed on the use of the visual-spatial modality, and this approach has been termed simultaneous processing. In contrast, when stress is placed on phonics, syllabication, and dictionary, this latter approach is termed successive processing, and is the one commonly utilized to teach reading to all students in American schools.^ This study, therefore, was designed to teach English vocabulary words to Chinese bilingual students, using both approaches in order to determine if the simultaneous processing did enable students to gain better mnemonic mastery of new English words being learned.^ Analysis of all data led to the following conclusions: (a) the simultaneous processing group did not score significantly higher than the successive processing group in the areas of vocabulary mastery, decoding skills, literal comprehension, or in the area of phonics mastery; (b) the simultaneous processing group did learn and remember far more words than did the successive processing group in terms of short term memory for words and subsequent recall. These findings, however, were somewhat dissipated in the long term memory for these words. ^

Subject Area

Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

OSBORNE-WILSON, COLETTE, "THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VISUAL MODALITY FOR AIDING WORD MASTERY IN CHINESE BILINGUALS" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8715807.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8715807

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