Promotion of literacy in China, The Netherlands and Finland

Until recently, specific developmental reading difficulty, dyslexia, has been recognized and investigated mainly in the English speaking countries and  in other western languages. However, in the past years it has been reported that between 5% and 10% of school-aged Chinese children have dyslexia. Reading difficulties in Chinese are found mainly in word reading and spelling.

Since there is no standardized reading assessment in Mandarin, these children cannot be diagnosed until their friends have learned to read in the fifth or sixth years of primary school.

New versions of GraphoGame in Chinese Pinyin and Mandarin

Children with dyslexia are often mistakenly regarded as  lazy or lacking motivation to learning. The parents and teachers need to realize this specific reading disability. There are 270 000 000 Children in China below 14 years old, thus the number of children with dyslexia could be more than 13 000 000 according to the 5% low estimation. No specific treatment program or institution is available in mainland of China. These children get frustrated and their school performance as well as self-esteem suffers significantly.

The cooperation between Finnish and Chinese researchers aims to develop a Chinese GraphoGame on Pinyin and Mandarin as well as investigate effectiveness of those games to help Chinese children to learn to read in Chinese.

A Dutch version GraphoGame

The aim is to develop a GraphoGame version so that Dutch children can take the first steps in learning to read. The game content will also provide appropriate training in reading fluency for those who already have learned the basic skill. Those children can read accurately but reading still needs a strong effort and may be very slow.

Empirical studies of both Chinese and Dutch GraphoGames

Based on the new language versions the project will then take on the challenge of studying the effectiveness of these games in empirical settings.

All partners from Finland, China and the Netherlands have since long been involved and successful in longitudinal studies from children at risk of dyslexia. The project will concentrate on investigation of these unique data-sets and potentially produces significant scientific breakthroughs as a joint effort.

The LITERATE project is funded by the EU Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme LITERATE-project PIRSES-GA-2013-612663