web stats
Selected Development Project
Project Title Effectiveness of Early Intervention for Chinese Kindergarteners at Risk for Specific Learning Difficulties
Principal Investigator Professor Chung Kien Hoa, Kevin
Area of Research Project
Learning and Assessment
Project Period
From 6/2009 To 8/2011
  1. To examine the effects of morphological and orthographic training in kindergarten and first-grade reading skills among children at risk of specific learning difficulties (SpLD)
  2. To develop evidence-based training morphological and orthographic skills in children at risk of SpLD
Methods Used
  1. A total of 320 kindergarten third graders were recruited for a two-year study. Data collection for pre-post tests was conducted to kindergarten third graders at the beginning of the school year 2009/2010, and at the end of the school years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012. Data were collected over three time points to investigate the effectiveness of early intervention for children at risk. All the data were analysed.
  2. Training programmes were provided to 184 students in kindergarten third grade. A total of 134 children were assigned in the control group (no training given). They were followed up until they finished primary one. Three types of intervention programmes were developed to focus on morphological training, orthographic training, and both for two years.
Summary of Findings
  1. Throughout the two-year intervention trial, the training programmes were efficient to the extent that the trained groups outperformed the groups in particular domains, such as orthographic and morphological skills. The pre-post test improvements were also observed in the trained domains. The trained groups showed certain improvement compared to the no-training group (control-risk group). Overall, the results suggest that morphological and orthographic training may help children develop knowledge and strategies to improve their reading skills.
  2. Programme evaluation questionnaires were sent to parents and teachers for feedback and comments. Parents reported that their children showed improvement in Chinese language, reading, and oral language. The teachers stated that the intervention programmes could facilitate their teaching of morphological and orthographic skills.
  1. 《童心齊悅讀》 provided a resourceful support for teaching children at risk of SpLD. Together with the screening tool (The Hong Kong Reading Ability Screening Test for Preschool Children) developed by HKU, teachers could provide prompt and helpful assistance to children at risk who are in need of early intervention for their language development.
  2. The training package is useful to schools because it provides teaching strategies and resources for supporting students at risk. Teachers should be better equipped with knowledge about catering to students at risk after going through the resource package. This scheme helps schools to better organize their curriculum to suit the needs of students at risk.
Selected Publications Related to the Study
  1. Chung, K. K. H., & Ho, C. S.-H. (2010). Dyslexia in Chinese language: An overview of research and practice. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 15, 213-224.
  2. 鍾杰華、何淑嫻、陳維鄂、曾淑雯、李淑嫻 (2011)。《童心齊悅讀 – 幼兒語文課程教材套》,香港:香港特殊學習困難研究小組。
Biography of Principal Investigator

Professor Kevin Chung is a professor at and the acting Head of the Department of Special Education and Counselling. He was the Associate Dean (Research) from July 2008 to August 2010 of the Faculty of Education Studies, as well as the Coordinator of KRA: Learning and Assessment. Prior to joining the Institute, he was the Program Director of MED and PCAES (Special and Inclusive Education) in the University of Hong Kong. He also taught high school in Sydney, Australia, for more than 4 years before embarking on a different track in his academic career. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the University of New South Wales in Sydney. He won research grants 4 from the General Education Fund, 2 from the Quality Education Fund, and 2 from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities. His research interests are developmental dyslexia, language/reading acquisition and instruction, and inclusive/special education.

Funding Source
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust