Specifying the contributions of morphological awareness to decoding, syntactic awareness, and reading comprehension in Chinese children learning English as a second language

Qiuzhi Xie, Susanna Siu Sze Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aims to explore the specific contributions of derivational, inflectional, and compounding morphological awareness to reading comprehension through decoding and syntactic awareness. A total of 181 Grade 3 and 4 Chinese primary school children learning English as a second language in Hong Kong participated in this study. The results of structural equational modeling show that all the three types of morphological awareness contributed to reading comprehension through decoding and syntactic awareness, and they explained about 66% of the variance in decoding and 47.2% of the variance in syntactic awareness. Derivational and inflectional morphological awareness affected decoding more strongly than compounding morphological awareness. Derivational and inflectional morphological awareness had stronger effects on decoding than on syntactic awareness, whereas compounding morphological awareness had stronger effect on syntactic awareness than on decoding. In addition, derivational and inflectional morphological awareness had unique direct effects on reading comprehension beyond decoding and syntactic awareness. The unique effect of inflectional morphological awareness was stronger than that of derivational morphological awareness. These results advance our understanding of the multiple roles of the three types of morphological awareness in reading comprehension.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReading and Writing
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Compounding
  • Derivational
  • Inflectional
  • Morphological awareness
  • Reading comprehension
  • Syntactic awareness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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