Chinese language is a new territory for many whose first language use an alphabetic system such as English. Instead of combining letters to form words, Chinese language uses strokes to form characters. The commonly used Chinese characters alone contain 3000 thoughts. Not only that, Chinese is one more tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, additionally unmarked represents the neutral tone. The accent marks are only available possess PinYin to represent the pronunciation. The word sh for instance, can have different meanings depending on its tone. The first tone sh can mean poetry or wet or teacher. The second tone sh can mean ten or time or possible. The third tone sh can mean history or to start or to cause. The fourth tone sh can mean yes or room or matter. In essence, are usually many similar sounds with various meanings. As a a couple of fact, a Chinese linguist in the 20th century Zhao Yuanren composed a 10-line classical Chinese poem using only the sound shi.
Next, it is not always possible to guess the pronunciation of a character. The character for wood, for instance, is pronounced mu. The character for forest, can be composed of two-character for wood, is pronounced lin. Although in this example the pronunciation isn’t related, the concise explaination of the characters can. On the contrary, when the pronunciation can be related due to similar root character, the meanings are not necessarily related.
PinYin itself, although alphabetized, is not pronounced the unique way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds for example u with an umlaut () that sounds like a mix of I and u. Like things unfamiliar, it can cause uncertainty and fearfulness. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the first step in devising effective learning strategies that directly affect their language success.
The Strategies Used to Learn Chinese Characters
Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah Expenses hikes conducted an exploration amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Far east learners and uncovered interesting results which could help future learners in forming an effective study blueprint. Her study revolves around the most frequently used Chinese character learning strategies and how those strategies affect the learners’ ability in understanding and producing the sound and the writing of the Chinese personas.
The study finds that among the top twenty most often used strategies, eight of these are dealing with when a personality is first introduced to learners. These include:
1. Repeating the character several times aloud or silently.
2. Writing the character down.
3. Noting how the is found hello in mandarin chinese context.
4. Noting the tone and associating it with pinyin.
5. Observing the character and stroke order.
6. Visualising the character.
7. Hearing the explanation of the character.
8. Associating the character with previously learned character.
The next six strategies are used to increase learners’ understanding from the newly introduced character.
9. Converting the character into native language and finding an equivalent.
10. Looking in the textbook or dictionary.
11. Checking if the actual character been recently used above.
12. Trying to discover how they are used in conversation.
13. Using the character in sentences orally.
14. Asking how the character could be utilized in lines.
However, learning strategies start to diminish beyond those two learning phase. There are only three strategies played with memorising newly learned nature herself.
15. Saying and writing the character at the same time.
16. Saying and picturing the character in consideration.
17. Given the sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.
And hard work only one strategy used in practising new characters.
18. Making sentences and writing them out.
And new characters are reviewed with these two strategies only.
19. Writing the characters many time intervals.
20. Reading over notes, example sentences and the textbook.
Of the twenty strategies mentioned above, four are only to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of fresh characters. A few strategies are:
Writing the characters down
Observing the stroke order
Making connection to a similar character
Saying and writing the smoothness repeatedly
A research by Stice in 1987 showed that students only retained 10% of how they learned from what they read, 26% from legitimate because it hear, and 30% from what they see. When learning modes are combined, an essential improvement in learning retention is noted. Learning retention jumped to 50% when seeing and hearing are combined, and even higher at 70% when students repeat the materials are generally learning, and learning retention is at the highest at 90% when students say the materials these kinds of are learning though they do a product. Simply reading the characters aren’t enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, make a connection that isn’t characters become worse them memorable, and practice recalling the newly learned characters.
Study signifies that recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces getting to grips with. One way allow your this is actually using an app since The Intelligent Flashcards. This specific unit flashcard app is suited for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient evaluation characters on such basis as chapters. Simply does it show stroke order animation, it furthermore accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app so significantly more convenient that another app with regard to Anki. With Anki, although user may add personal notes on it, the sound file isn’t available and should be imported through another app.
Another important learning method to incorporate is observing any characters are used in circumstance. This can finished by observing real-life conversations to assist the textbook and audio tracks conversation. The time interesting to that learners studied the particular abovementioned research were hesitant to adopt the learning strategies recommended by the instructors, for instance watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese movies. There could be many reasons why you are this. The structure of the shows or songs may not appeal for the learners.
Regarding this program is quite a bit less convenient. And additionally if the shows could be accessed online, rarely are they subtitled either in both Chinese and English which makes the shows more beneficial to beginner learners in receiving the language. Also, most of this very popular Chinese Tv programs fall in the historical genre, which is often a favourite on the list of Chinese, for instance The Empress of China. However, the language spoken in this type of TV show is a great deal complex than the contemporary spoken Chinese.