Chinese language is an unfamiliar 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 yet another tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, proper 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. Lastly tone sh can mean yes or room or matter. In essence, strategies many similar sounds distinctive meanings. As a question 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 isn’t always possible to guess the pronunciation of a characteristics. The character for wood, for instance, is pronounced mu. The character for forest, could 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 potentially. On the contrary, when the pronunciation can be related due to similar root character, the meanings aren’t necessarily related.
PinYin itself, although alphabetized, is not pronounced the unique way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds because u with an umlaut () that sounds like a plan of I and u. Like as much as possible unfamiliar, it can cause uncertainty and fear. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the actual step in devising effective learning strategies that directly affect their language accomplishments.
The Strategies Used to Learn Chinese Characters
Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah State university conducted a search amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Truly learners and uncovered interesting results could be help future learners in forming a helpful study plan. Her study revolves surrounding the most frequently employed Chinese character learning strategies and how those strategies affect the learners’ ability in understanding and producing the sound and the writing of the Chinese emails.
The study finds that among greatest twenty most regularly used strategies, eight of them are related to when a character 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 implemented in context.
4. Noting the tone and associating it with pinyin.
5. Observing the character and stroke order.
6. Visualising the character.
7. Following the explanation of the type.
8. Associating the character with previously learned design.
The next six strategies are used to increase learners’ understanding for this newly introduced character.
9. Converting the character into native language and finding a similar.
10. Looking in the textbook or dictionary.
11. Checking if the character has been used above.
12. Trying to discover how to say hello in mandarin they are used in conversation.
13. When using the character in sentences orally.
14. Asking how the smoothness could be taken in phrases.
However, learning strategies start to diminish beyond those two learning phase. There are only three strategies moved to memorising newly learned nature herself.
15. Saying and writing the character at duration.
16. Saying and picturing the character in consideration.
17. Due to the sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.
And nevertheless only one strategy for the 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 years.
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 the actual 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 the things learned from what they read, 26% from legitimate because it hear, and 30% from what they see. While studying modes are combined, newer and interesting . improvement in mastering retention is noted. Learning retention jumped to 50% when seeing and hearing are combined, and even higher at 70% when students say the materials are generally learning, and learning retention is at the highest at 90% when students the materials these kinds of are learning simply because they do a product. Simply reading the characters are not enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, create a connection with the characters become worse them memorable, and practice recalling the newly learned characters.
Study shows that recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces comprehending. One way work with this is by using an app for example The Intelligent Flashcards. This particular flashcard app is designed for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient evaluation characters created from chapters. Also does it show stroke order animation, it can be accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app so much more convenient that another app with regard to Anki. With Anki, although user can add personal notes on it, the sound file is not available and must be imported through another app.
Another important learning method to incorporate is observing how a characters tend to be in circumstance. This can do by observing real-life conversations to complement the textbook and audio tracks conversation. It is interesting to make note of that trainees studied in the abovementioned research were often unwilling to adopt the learning strategies recommended by the instructors, such as watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese movies. There could be many causes this. Design and style of the shows or songs cannot appeal to your learners.
Use of this program is considerably less convenient. And even if the shows could be accessed online, rarely are they subtitled in both Chinese and English which makes the shows more necessary to beginner learners in receiving the language. Also, most of this very popular Chinese Tv shows fall in the historical genre, which is often a favourite one of several Chinese, for instance The Empress of Singapore. However, the language spoken in this type of TV show is good deal more complex as opposed to a contemporary spoken Chinese.