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 additionally tonal language with four different tones, commonly marked with accent marks, many years . 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 with assorted 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 isn’t always possible to guess the pronunciation of a character. The character for wood, for instance, is pronounced mu. The character for forest, that is composed of two-character for wood, is pronounced lin. Although in this example the pronunciation simply 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 are not necessarily related.
PinYin itself, although alphabetized, is not pronounced the in an identical way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds because u with an umlaut () that sounds like a mix of I and u. Like things unfamiliar, it typically causes uncertainty and issue. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the very step in devising effective learning strategies that directly affect their language becoming successful.
The Strategies Usually Learn Chinese Characters
Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah State university conducted a hunt amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Far east learners and uncovered interesting results may be help future learners in forming a good study procedure. Her study revolves around the most 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 characters.
The study finds that among greatest twenty most regularly used strategies, eight of these are involved in 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 smoothness is in context.
4. Noting the tone and associating it with pinyin.
5. Observing the character and stroke order.
6. Visualising the figure.
7. Learning the explanation of the smoothness.
8. Associating the character with previously learned design.
The next six strategies are formerly increase learners’ understanding belonging to 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 new character recently been used above.
12. Trying to find out how very good used in conversation.
13. Using the character in sentences orally.
14. Asking how the could be utilized in sentences.
However, learning strategies start to diminish beyond those two learning phase. There are only three strategies moved to memorising newly learned character.
15. Saying and writing the character at the same time.
16. Saying and picturing the character in memory.
17. Imply 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 tend to be found to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of the actual characters. The four 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. 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 they are learning, and learning retention is in the highest at 90% when students repeat the materials these kinds of are learning as they quite do a single. Simply reading the characters aren’t enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, develop a connection the brand new characters to make them memorable, and practice recalling the newly learned characters.
Study demonstrates that recalling new characters learned improves learning retention and reinforces comprehending. One way to practice this will be using an app such as The Intelligent Flashcards. This specific unit flashcard app is intended for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient evaluation characters based on chapters. Just does it show stroke order animation, it is also accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app a great dea of more convenient that another app with regard to Anki. With Anki, although user could add personal notes on it, the sound file isn’t available and must be imported through another app.
Another important learning process to incorporate is observing how to say hi in mandarin the characters are used in context. This can performed by observing real-life conversations to supplement the textbook and audio files conversation. It is interesting to that trainees studied in the abovementioned research were often unwilling to adopt the learning strategies recommended by the instructors, for instance watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese popular music. There could be many reasons for this. The style of the shows or songs cannot appeal to the learners.
Associated with this program is considerably less convenient. And even if the shows could possibly be accessed online, rarely is it subtitled either in both Chinese and English which would make the shows more necessary to beginner learners in buying the language. Also, most of this very popular Chinese Television fall in the historical genre, which can be a favourite one of several Chinese, with regard to The Empress of Cina. However, the language spoken in this type of TV show is a great deal complex compared to a contemporary spoken Chinese.