Assessment of early handwriting skill in kindergarten children using a Chinese name writing test
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This study developed and validated a Chinese name writing scale (CNWS) for evaluating early handwriting skills of kindergarten children. We then used the validated CNWS to examine the developmental characteristics of Chinese name writing skills among kindergarten children in Hong Kong in a cross-sectional study. CNWS was developed based on English name writing scales. It was modified to match with the uniqueness of complex characters in Chinese names. CNWS was then reviewed by an expert panel, followed by a validation study. The results demonstrated good content validity and excellent test–retest and inter-rater reliabilities. It illustrated a significant difference in CNWS score between typical developing children and children with handwriting difficulties. For the Chinese name writing development (n = 295), children of age three to four provided a baseline of the study, then they came across a great progression from age four to five, until a plateau when they reach the age of six. On one hand, CNWS quantified the Chinese name writing performance and illustrated how Chinese children developed their name writing skills in response to the composition of Chinese characters and their names. On the other hand, it suggested that CNWS can be used a one of the screening tool for handwriting difficulties among kindergarten children. It helped teachers to identify children who needed further assessment or support in learning of early handwriting skills.
KeywordsChinese Assessment Name writing Handwriting difficulties Kindergarten children
The authors are grateful for the expert opinions of and advice from occupational therapists, kindergarten teachers, and parents during the development of the CNWS. We would also like to thank the children who participated in the study and their parents, as well as the kindergartens involved.
- Education Bureau (November 25, 2017). Overview of kindergarten education in Hong Kong. Retrieved from http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/edu-system/preprimary-kindergarten/overview/index.html.
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