Portland State University. Department of Applied Linguistics
Thomas G. Dieterich
Term of Graduation
Date of Publication
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Chinese language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- English speakers, Chinese language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Japanese speakers, Chinese language -- Phonetics, Psycholinguistics
1 online resource (87 pages)
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between beginning Chinese language students' character memorization and the strategies they used for the recognition of Chinese characters. In the experiment, a new character teaching approach, the phonetic-ideograph strategy, was introduced to all the subjects during two quarter terms. Subjects participated in the study were divided into two groups depended upon their language backgrounds: the phonographic group and the morphographic group. All the subjects in the phonographic group were English speakers and subjects in the morphographic group were Japanese speakers. All the subjects received the same treatment in the study.
Two main questions were addressed in this study: 1) whether the phonetic-ideograph strategy was a better strategy to facilitate character recognition and retention. 2) whether there was a difference between character processing strategies used by phonographic students and morphographic students. The results in this study demonstrated that a significant positive correlation was detected between student's performance on pronunciations and on meanings of characters in retention tasks. In other words, phonetic-ideograph strategies seem to be effective for most of the subjects in recognizing and memorizing characters.
There was also a difference illustrated between the performance of phonographic students and of morphographic students. The phonographic group seemed to rely more heavily on characters with phonetic radicals than characters without. The morphographic group seemed to show more tolerance for processing characters without phonetic radicals than the phonographic group. Perhaps, the results indicated that there might have been a transfer of orthographic processing strategies underway from students' first languages to their second languages.
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Chen, Hui-yen Emmy, "The Relationship Between Chinese Character Recognition Strategies and the Success of Character Memorization for Students of Mandarin Chinese" (2000). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6379.