Morphological Instruction and Teacher Training

Wu Xinchun, Richard C. Anderson, Li Wenling, Chen Xi, Meng Xiangzhi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


After a brief introduction to the history and reform of character instruction in Chinese primary schools, this chapter describes a new method of character instruction termed morphological instruction. Grounded in psycholinguistic research on Chinese literacy, morphological instruction emphasizes knowledge of the internal structures of the writing system. This method helps children to master the structural rules of different types of characters and to apply the rules analytically when learning new characters. Four classes of first-grade children and four classes of fourth-grade children from four primary schools in Beijing received morphological instruction for one year. Both statistical analysis and teacher interviews demonstrated that at the end of the instruction children who received morphological instruction performed better than the children in control classes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChinese Children’s Reading Acquisition
EditorsLi Wenling, Janet S. Gaffney, Jerome L. Packard
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4615-0859-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-4613-5274-7
StatePublished - 2002


  • morphological-awareness
  • morphological instruction
  • character learning
  • teacher training


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