Contributions of morphological awareness and rapid automatized naming (RAN) to Chinese children’s reading comprehension versus reading fluency: evidence from a longitudinal mediation model

  • Ying Zhao
  • Yahua Cheng
  • Xinchun WuEmail author


Some cognitive processes may be shared between reading comprehension and reading fluency, while others may be independent. In this longitudinal study, 127 Chinese children in grades 1–2 were tested three times (T1–T3) to explore the contributions of early morphological awareness and rapid automatized naming (RAN) to subsequent reading comprehension and reading fluency. The results demonstrated that both T1 morphological awareness and RAN directly and significantly explained a similar amount of variance in T3 reading comprehension and reading fluency. T1 Morphological awareness predicted T3 reading comprehension via T2 word-reading accuracy but not word-reading fluency, whereas the indirect influence of T1 RAN on T3 reading comprehension was not significant. In contrast, morphological awareness predicted reading fluency via word-reading accuracy and fluency, while RAN predicted it only via word-reading fluency not accuracy. The findings add to the growing literature by providing evidence of the similarities and differences in the cognitive underpinnings of reading comprehension versus reading fluency in Chinese children.


Reading comprehension Reading fluency Morphological awareness Rapid automatized naming (RAN) Word-reading skills 



We thank all the principals, teachers, children and their parents for their participation. This research was supported by Major Project of the National Social Science Fund of China (13&ZD188) and by Major Project of Philosophy and Social Science Foundation by Ministry of Education (11JZD041).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center of Children’s Reading and Learning, Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, Faculty of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNingbo UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China

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