Pinyin Invented Spelling in Mandarin Chinese-Speaking Children With and Without Reading Difficulties.
The present study examined invented spelling of pinyin (a phonological coding system for teaching and learning Chinese words) in relation to subsequent Chinese reading development. Among 296 Chinese kindergartners in Beijing, independent invented pinyin spelling was found to be uniquely predictive of Chinese word reading 12 months later, even with Time 1 syllable deletion, phoneme deletion, and letter knowledge, in addition to the autoregressive effects of Time 1 Chinese word reading, statistically controlled. These results underscore the importance of children's early pinyin representations for Chinese reading acquisition, both theoretically and practically. The findings further support the idea of a universal phonological principle and indicate that pinyin is potentially an ideal measure of phonological awareness in Chinese.