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 keywords and phrases. Not only that, Chinese is along with a 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 valid. The third tone sh can mean history or to start or to cause. Finally tone sh can mean yes or room or matter. In essence, strategies many similar sounds distinctive 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, which usually composed of two-character for wood, is pronounced lin. Although in this example the pronunciation can’t be related, the concept the characters would be 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 unique way as the alphabetic sounds. There are unfamiliar sounds with regard to u with an umlaut () that sounds like a combination of I and u. Like every item and fixture unfamiliar, it leads to uncertainty and fear. Thus, knowing the challenges learners face is the most important step in devising effective learning strategies that directly affect their language achievement.
The Strategies Once Learn Chinese Characters
Prof Ko-Yin Sung of Chinese Language Study from Utah State university conducted a groundwork amongst non-heritage, non-Asian Offshore learners and uncovered interesting results could be help future learners in forming a good study procedure. Her study revolves surrounding the most frequently used Chinese character learning strategies and how to say hello in mandarin those strategies affect the learners’ ability in understanding and producing the sound and the writing of this Chinese emails.
The study finds that among greatest twenty most important used strategies, eight pros 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 used 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 design.
The next six strategies are familiar with increase learners’ understanding belonging to 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 has been used above.
12. Finding out how very good used in conversation.
13. While using character in sentences orally.
14. Asking how the type could be used in words.
However, learning strategies commence to diminish beyond those two learning portions. There are only three strategies used in memorising newly learned temperament.
15. Saying and writing the character at the same time.
16. Saying and picturing the character in your head.
17. Due to the sound, visualising the character shape and meaning.
And hard work only one strategy for the practising new characters.
18. Making sentences and writing them out.
And new characters are reviewed along with 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 simply just to be most significant in increasing learner’s skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing of the new characters. Normal strategies are:
Writing the characters down
Observing the stroke order
Making association with a similar character
Saying and writing the smoothness repeatedly
A research by Stice in 1987 showed that students only retained 10% of what they learned from what they read, 26% from legitimate because it hear, and 30% from what they see. When studying 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 in the highest at 90% when students the materials they are learning simply because they do something. Simply reading the characters aren’t enough. Learners must associate the sound with the characters, develop 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 learning. One way the proper this can be using an app such as The Intelligent Flashcards. This particular flashcard app is manufactured for the New Practical Chinese Reader textbooks, making it convenient to review characters based on chapters. Not only does it show stroke order animation, it is also accompanied by native speaker sound files, making this app the more convenient that another app while Anki. With Anki, although user will add personal notes on it, the sound file isn’t available and must be imported through another app.
Another important learning method to incorporate is observing your characters are widely-used in circumstance. This can do by observing real-life conversations to assist the textbook and audio files conversation. Usually interesting to notice that pupils studied the particular abovementioned research were reluctant to adopt the learning strategies recommended by the instructors, because watching Chinese TV shows or listening Chinese movies. There could be many reasons for this. The style of the shows or songs cannot appeal for the learners.
Use of this program is not as convenient. Instances if the shows could be accessed online, rarely a tick subtitled in both Chinese and English which would make the shows more employed to beginner learners in acquiring the language. Also, most from the very popular Chinese Tv fall into the historical genre, which is really a favourite among the Chinese, regarding The Empress of Singapore. However, the language spoken in this particular type of TV show is a great deal complex towards the contemporary spoken Chinese.