An Exploratory Study into Chinese and English Speaking Children's Visual Perception

Mun Yee Lai

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Aim of the studyThis study investigated the impact of learning English and Chinese on children's cognitive processes relating to visual perceptual abilities.Main ideaSome researchers (Halliday, 1978; Hoosian, 1991) believe that each language has its unique features for mathematics. Chinese characters, for example, put emphasis on the spatial layout of strokes, and the orthography of Chinese was based on the spatial organization of the components of characters (Hoosain, 1991; Kao, 2000). In contrast to Chinese words, the configurations of alphabetic words are more or less tied to their pronunciation. Kao (2002) points out that alphabetic words are composed of left-to-right letters and follow a unidirectional scanning path while Chinese characters occupy an imaginary space of identical-size squares. Because of the visual-spatial properties of Chinese characters, it has been proposed that the logographic nature of the Chinese script makes the concept represented by each character relatively transparent to the reader (Smith, 1985; Wang, 1973). With this reason, some studies suggest that Chinese speaking learners outperform the non-Chinese speaking learners in visual skills. However, there is a research gap if we attempt to gain a thorough understanding of the impact of learning Chinese on children's visual perceptual abilities as among different aspects of visual perceptual abilities, the previous studies have not investigated which attributes were benefited more from learning Chinese. To bridge this research gap, the Developmental Test of Visual Perception, 2nd Edition was employed in this study to investigate Chinese and English speaking children's motor-reduced visual perceptual skills and visual-motor integration skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEARCOME
Subtitle of host publicationIn Search of Excellence in Mathematics Education
Place of PublicationJapan
PublisherJapan Society of Mathematics Education
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventEast Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education - Tokyo, Japan, Japan
Duration: 18 Aug 201022 Aug 2010


ConferenceEast Asia Regional Conference on Mathematics Education

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