Measures of Chinese character/English word recognition, phonological awareness, speeded
naming, visual-spatial skill, and processing speed were administered to 190 kindergarten
students in Hong Kong and 128 kindergarten and grade 1 students in the United States.
Across groups, the strongest predictor of reading itself was phonological awareness;
visual processing did not predict reading. For both groups, speed of processing strongly
predicted speeded naming, visual processing, and phonological awareness. Despite diversities
of culture, language, and orthography to be learned, models of early reading development
were remarkably similar across cultures and first and second language orthographies.