Faculty Resource Blog

Using a Radical-Derived Character E-learning Platform to Increase Learner Knowledge of Chinese Characters

February 20, 2013 · No Comments

“The rise of China to international prominence in recent years has made learning Chinese extremely popular, and increasing numbers of non-native Chinese students have begun to choose Chinese as their second language of study. Though learners when learning a second language may attempt to applytechniques used when acquiring their first language (cf. Cook, 2003; Dulay, Burt, & Krashen, 1982; Larsen-Freeman & Long, 1991; Jiang, 2008), learners of Chinese who have alphabetic first languagestend to find Chinese writing difficult to learn. This is because in alphabetic writing systems, the orthography of a phrase typically has a specific relationship with its pronunciation, which is known as the grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) rule. Chinese orthography, on the other hand, is logographic and composed of radicals in two-dimensional squares. As specific characters do not necessarily correspond to specific phonemes, one cannot know a character’s pronunciation simply by observing its representation. International students or heritage Chinese learners whose learning strategies may rely on phonemes probably are accustomed to determining a word’s pronunciation by simply reading the representation; thus, the absence of the GPC rule for Chinese characters may become one of the major obstacles when these students learn and memorize characters (Shi & Wan, 1998).”

The rest of the study can be found here.

Categories: Languages