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 keywords and phrases. Not only that, Chinese is also a tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, and whenever 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 a fact. 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 distinctive meanings. As 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 mother nature herself. 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 cannot be related, the concept the characters are able to. 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 way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds such as u with an umlaut () that sounds like a mix of I and u. Like every item and fixture 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 becoming successful.
The Strategies Once Learn Chinese Characters
Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah State university conducted a research amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Truly learners and uncovered interesting results that may help future learners in forming a highly effective study tactic. Her study revolves surrounding the most regularly 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 personas.
The study finds that among greatest twenty most often used strategies, eight of them are most typically associated 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 character is 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 character.
8. Associating the character with previously learned identity.
The next six strategies are which is used to increase learners’ understanding among the 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 recently been used preceding.
12. Trying to discover how they are used in conversation.
13. Making use of the character in sentences by mouth.
14. Asking how the character could be used in sentences.
However, learning strategies come to diminish beyond those two learning phase. There are only three strategies played with memorising newly learned character.
15. Saying and writing the character at one time.
16. Saying and picturing the character in consideration.
17. Imply sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.
And tend to be : only one strategy discovered practising new characters.
18. Making sentences and writing them out.
And new characters are reviewed truly worth 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 tend to be found to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of fresh characters. Normal strategies are:
Writing the characters down
Observing the stroke order
Making connection to a similar character
Saying and writing the repeatedly
A research by Stice in 1987 showed that students only retained 10% of what they learned from what they read, 26% from the things they 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 these kind of are learning, and learning retention is at the highest at 90% when students say the materials usually are learning simply because they do something. Simply reading the characters are not 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 means that recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces understanding the concepts of. One way the proper this is actually using an app since The Intelligent Flashcards. Distinct flashcard app is suited for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient to review characters based on chapters. Not necessarily does it show stroke order animation, it can be accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app so significantly more convenient that another app while 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 the characters are usually employed hello in mandarin chinese perspective. This can do by observing real-life conversations to complement the textbook and audio tracks conversation. The time interesting to note that university students studied typically the abovementioned research were not wanting to adopt the educational strategies recommended by the instructors, such as watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese songs. There could be many causes this. The structure of the shows or songs usually will not appeal for the learners.
Use of this program is not as convenient. And even if the shows might accessed online, rarely is it subtitled either in both Chinese and English which will make the shows more employed to beginner learners in receiving the language. Also, most from the very popular Chinese Tv fall into the historical genre, which can be a favourite one of several Chinese, such as The Empress of Singapore. However, the language spoken in this type of TV show is a bit more complex towards the contemporary spoken Chinese.