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 approach. Not only that, Chinese is along with a tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, and when unmarked represents the neutral tone. The accent marks are only available unfavorable 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. Last tone sh can mean yes or room or matter. In essence, there are many similar sounds with assorted meanings. As a few 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 design. The character for wood, for instance, is pronounced mu. The character for forest, which is composed of two-character for wood, is pronounced lin. Although in this example the pronunciation can’t be related, the meaning of the characters can. 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 same manner as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds because u with an umlaut () that sounds like a combination of I and u. Like as much as possible unfamiliar, it typically causes uncertainty and fear. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the most important 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 a groundwork amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Truly learners and uncovered interesting results may be help future learners in forming a highly effective study tactic. Her study revolves around 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 on the Chinese heroes.
The study finds that among leading twenty most important used strategies, eight of these are involved in 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 smoothness is implemented in context.
4. Noting the tone and associating it with pinyin.
5. Observing the character and stroke order.
6. Visualising the figure.
7. Following the explanation of the type.
8. Associating the character with previously learned identity.
The next six strategies are formerly increase learners’ understanding among 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 is used a long time ago.
12. Discovering this how very good used in conversation.
13. When using the character in sentences orally.
14. Asking how to say hello in mandarin the could be used in sentences.
However, learning strategies commence to diminish beyond those two learning periods. There are only three strategies played with memorising newly learned temperament.
15. Saying and writing the character at one time.
16. Saying and picturing the character in your head.
17. Due to sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.
And hard work only one strategy discovered practising new characters.
18. Making sentences and writing them out.
And new characters are reviewed overall performance two strategies only.
19. Writing the characters many occasions when.
20. Reading over notes, example sentences and the textbook.
Of the twenty strategies mentioned above, four are simply to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of brand new 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 what ever 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 to learn retention is noted. Learning retention jumped to 50% when seeing and hearing are combined, and even higher at 70% when students the materials they are learning, and learning retention is at the highest at 90% when students repeat the materials they are learning as they do a single. Simply reading the characters are not enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, create a connection with the characters to make them memorable, and practice recalling the newly learned characters.
Study points too recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces understanding. One way allow your this can be using an app since The Intelligent Flashcards. This specific unit flashcard app is designed for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient evaluation characters based on chapters. Simply does it show stroke order animation, it one more accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app the more convenient that another app such as Anki. With Anki, although user may add personal notes on it, the sound file is not available and should be imported through another app.
Another important learning answer to incorporate is observing your characters are used in framework. This can be practiced by observing real-life conversations to add to the textbook and audio recordings conversation. Is actually interesting to notice that university students studied in the abovementioned research were often unwilling to adopt the training strategies recommended by the instructors, for example watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese popular music. There could be many reasons for this. The style of the shows or songs usually will not appeal to the learners.
Regarding this program is not as convenient. Instances if the shows could possibly be accessed online, rarely are they subtitled either in both Chinese and English which would make the shows more employed to beginner learners in acquiring the language. Also, most among the very popular Chinese Television fall into the historical genre, which is a favourite among the Chinese, such as The Empress of Asia. However, the language spoken in this type of TV show is good deal more complex compared contemporary spoken Chinese.