Research Topic

Reading Acquisition of Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language

About this Research Topic

Written Chinese is unique because of its logographic orthography in nature and the correspondence between Chinese characters, morphemes, and syllables. Therefore, reading acquisition of Chinese is a major challenge for those learning Chinese as a second/foreign language (CSL/CFL). However, studies on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners are sparse. It remains unclear how CSL/CFL learners acquire the knowledge of Chinese characters (e.g., the structures including the intricate strokes and square configurations) and establish morphological awareness (e.g., “学” in “学校” and “才学” is the same morpheme, but “面” in “面粉” and “面孔” are two different morphemes). Furthermore, there is a lack of empirical studies on how various linguistic skills that are significantly associated with reading in native Chinese speakers (e.g., orthographic knowledge, phonological awareness, and vocabulary) contribute to sentence/passage reading in CSL/CFL learners with various Chinese proficiency levels.

This Research Topic aims to present scientific studies on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners that help to reveal the developmental trajectories of reading ability and the contributions of various perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors to reading development in CSL/CFL learners. Welcome contributions will focus on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners at all levels such as character, word, sentence, and passage. Particular attention will be given to the integration of behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques to reveal the mechanisms underlying Chinese character recognition and semantic integration during reading.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Development of orthographic awareness;
• Development of morphological skills;
• Sentence/passage reading and the contributing linguistic and cognitive factors;
• The relationship between listening comprehension and reading;
• Electrophysiological (e.g., the ERP components N170 and N400) and neuroimaging measures (e.g., activation of the visual word form area in the left fusiform gyrus) of various reading processes.


Keywords: Reading acquisition, Chinese as a second/foreign language learners, Chinese character, Sentence and passage reading, Electrophysiological measures, Neuroimaging measures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Written Chinese is unique because of its logographic orthography in nature and the correspondence between Chinese characters, morphemes, and syllables. Therefore, reading acquisition of Chinese is a major challenge for those learning Chinese as a second/foreign language (CSL/CFL). However, studies on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners are sparse. It remains unclear how CSL/CFL learners acquire the knowledge of Chinese characters (e.g., the structures including the intricate strokes and square configurations) and establish morphological awareness (e.g., “学” in “学校” and “才学” is the same morpheme, but “面” in “面粉” and “面孔” are two different morphemes). Furthermore, there is a lack of empirical studies on how various linguistic skills that are significantly associated with reading in native Chinese speakers (e.g., orthographic knowledge, phonological awareness, and vocabulary) contribute to sentence/passage reading in CSL/CFL learners with various Chinese proficiency levels.

This Research Topic aims to present scientific studies on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners that help to reveal the developmental trajectories of reading ability and the contributions of various perceptual, linguistic, and cognitive factors to reading development in CSL/CFL learners. Welcome contributions will focus on reading acquisition in CSL/CFL learners at all levels such as character, word, sentence, and passage. Particular attention will be given to the integration of behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques to reveal the mechanisms underlying Chinese character recognition and semantic integration during reading.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Development of orthographic awareness;
• Development of morphological skills;
• Sentence/passage reading and the contributing linguistic and cognitive factors;
• The relationship between listening comprehension and reading;
• Electrophysiological (e.g., the ERP components N170 and N400) and neuroimaging measures (e.g., activation of the visual word form area in the left fusiform gyrus) of various reading processes.


Keywords: Reading acquisition, Chinese as a second/foreign language learners, Chinese character, Sentence and passage reading, Electrophysiological measures, Neuroimaging measures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Abstract
27 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 May 2021 Abstract
27 September 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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