SHIU Ling Po 蕭寧波

Research Projects

  • Handwriting and Learning to Read Chinese: Psychology and Pedagogy
  • SHIU Ling Po, CHENG Pui Wan
    1 November 2004
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    Copying a character by hand many times is a traditional and presumably effective way of learning to read Chinese. However, the effectiveness of this method and the psychological process and mechanism involved have not been scrutinized by modern scientific methods. Instead, most research in the last few decades focused on the phonological aspects of the learning process. Our proposed studies are an entirely new attempt to address these questions by two approaches. Firstly, we adopt a pedagogical approach to evaluate the effectiveness of copying by hand in a school context. Primary schools in Hong Kong vary in the way reading is taught. Some use copying without any phonics instruction. Some teach Pinyin, a phonetic script for Chinese, together with some or little copying. Thus, they provide a natural setting for us to assess the value of copying as a learning activity, and its long-term impact on students' reading achievement. Secondly, we adopt an experimental approach to investigate the psychological process and mechanism involved in copying by hand. Specifically, we will test three hypotheses: (1) copying produces a motor representation of the character to facilitate retrieval and recognition; (2) copying produces a unitized orthographic representation of the character; and (3) copying is a strategy to tackle new characters (i.e., a “word-attack” strategy). The results of our proposed studies should have important implications for both theories of reading acquisition and teaching of reading. (CU04121)

Research Publications

  • Developing teachers and developing schools in changing contexts. (co-authored with John Chi-kin Lee) Hong Kong : Chinese University Press : Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, 2008.
    (CUHK Library Call No: CC LB1727.H6 D48 2008)

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