close

Enter

Log in using OpenID

A Kept Woman - PDF eBooks Online Free | Page 1

embedDownload
AN ERROR ANALYSIS OF CHINESE CHARACTERS WRITTEN BY BEGINNING
LEARNERS OF CHINESE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
A RESEARCH PAPER
SUBMITTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE
MASTER OF ARTS
BY
SARAH KITTERMAN
DR. MEGUMI HAMADA – ADVISOR
BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
MUNCIE, IN
JULY, 2012
INTRODUCTION
Second language acquisition is the process of learning a language other than one’s
native, or first, language. This includes all that is involved in learning another language:
reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, etc. Learning to read and write in a
second language involves metalinguistic knowledge - the ability for an individual to parse
a language into different categories, such as words, parts of speech (nouns, verbs,
prepositions, etc.), all the way down to the awareness of phonemes (Koda, 2004) (the
sounds that are used in a language to build words). To read and write in any language,
the learner must be aware of how the language is parceled into smaller components that
are represented by text (Koda, 2004).
Mandarin Chinese (here on out referred to as “Chinese”) is the language that has
the most native speakers and total speakers in the world (Ethnologue, 2012). Enrollment
in courses for Chinese as a foreign language has been growing at a rapid pace in the
United States over the past few decades, growing 74% between 1980 and 1990 (Abbott &
Wilcox, 2009; Arrow, 2004). More recently, it has experienced a 30% growth of
enrollment between 2002 and 2006 (Ke & Li, 2011). With such a rapid growth in interest
2
and enrollment in Chinese as a second language, research dealing with how methods for
learning and teaching Chinese to native speakers of English as well as quantitatively
looking at areas of good and poor performance among the same group is surprisingly
hard to come by. Students eager to enroll in these courses, however, may not realize the
arduous learning process that lies before them, and their teachers may not be as prepared
as they could be to teach effectively because of the limited, but growing, number of
studies for English speakers of Chinese as a foreign language.
Learning to read and write in Chinese as a second language requires different
types of metalinguistic awareness than English (Koda, 2004). Chinese characters (the
units which make up the writing system of Chinese) cannot be broken down past the
syllable level, whereas the English writing system can be deconstructed to individual
phonemes (Koda, 2004). Additionally, each Chinese character represents a syllable and a
morpheme (the smallest meaningful unit of a word; for instance, “cats” is made of two
morphemes – “cat” and the suffix “s” that denotes plurality). Going from English, where
each letter or group of letters represents an individual sound, to Chinese, where each
symbol could represent an entire word, requires changing one’s understanding of how
spoken language can be represented in text.
Unlike English, with its 24 letters that can be combined to form various sounds
and words, Chinese has thousands of characters, each with their own unique meanings.
This means that to even read a newspaper in Chinese, an individual would have to learn
at least 3,000 characters (Arrow, 2004; Ho, Ng, & Ng, 2003; Su, 2010) and an even
higher number of combinations of these characters.
3
Most studies regarding learning the Chinese writing system deal with reading and
the various strategies students use to accomplish this intimidating task (Arrow, 2004;
Everson, 1998; Grainger, 2005; Ke & Li, 2011; Kubota & Toyoda, 2001; Mori, 1998; Su,
2010). While much of what these studies have found can be applied to how students
tackle the issue of learning to write Chinese characters, research dealing solely with
writing characters is relatively scant (Guan, Liu, Chan, Ye, & Perfetti, 2011; Su, 2010).
However, it should be kept in mind that the relationship between learning to read
and learning to write is close. This can be seen from previous studies of ways that native
speakers of languages with alphabets have gone about learning Chinese as well as native
speakers of Chinese. For native speakers of Chinese, being able to write novel characters
strengthens the ability of the learner to remember it and recognize it later when reading
(Chan, Ho, Tsang, & Chung, 2006; Guan, et al., 2011; Tan, Spinks, Eden, Perfetti, &
Siok, 2005). Brain scans of native speakers have shown that word recognition while
reading also activates areas of the brain associated with writing (Guan, et al., 2011; Siok,
Niu, Jin, Perfetti, & Tan, 2008).
For non-native learners of Chinese, the combination of reading and writing new
characters was more beneficial to remembering characters than simply reading alone
(Guan, et al., 2011). The inclusion of pinyin (the standardized method to write Chinese
in the Latin alphabet) with the characters helped such learners even more (Guan, et al.,
2011). Including stroke-by-stroke instruction of how to write Chinese characters was
found to be even more beneficial (Guan, et al., 2011). Other studies have shown that the
4
more often a character occurs, the more likely learners will be able to write it correctly
(Ke, 1996; McEwen, 2006).
Multiple studies have been done on only reading and recognizing Chinese
characters; few have been on learning to write Chinese characters. Those that have been
done have shown a clear relationship between learning to read and write Chinese
characters, but the emphasis of research is still on reading recognition rather than
character writing. This study aims to add more to this little-researched aspect of learning
Chinese as a foreign language through an error analysis of characters written by first
semester college students of Chinese. The significance of this study for the field of
second language acquisition is that it looks at something other than English as a second
language (which is very well researched) and gives insight into how learners adjust when
moving from an alphabet to Chinese characters. The significance to pedagogy is that this
study, and later studies, will help those teaching Chinese as a second language teach
characters more effectively, further helping students produce and read written Chinese.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Background Research on Second Language Reading and Writing
With the growing interest among the student populace in learning Chinese as a
foreign language, researchers have been turning their attention to finding how native and
non-native speakers learn Chinese. More studies are being done, more textbooks are
being published for Chinese foreign language instruction, and more societies for people
teaching or learning Chinese are being established across the United States, much of
these being funded by the governments of the United States, China, and Taiwan (Ke & Li,
2011). For this study, research done with reading (especially word recognition) and
writing (of characters, not composition) will be considered. The two fields of research
are related in that they use the same linguistic information and much of the same
cognitive functions. The linguistic information involved is a spoken language and its
assigned writing system. The shared cognitive processing is in the transfer of graphic
information to the spoken language for reading and vice versa for writing. Studies have
also shown that writing and reading are very intertwined in Chinese among native and
6
non-native speakers, as discussed above (Chan, et al., 2006; Guan, et al., 2011; Ke, 1996;
McEwen, 2006; Siok, et al., 2008; Su, 2010; Tan, et al., 2005).
Learning to read and write a language is not like learning to listen or speak a
language; the latter is a natural process that is innate to the human species, but the former
requires years of dissection and instruction to master (Schau, 2000). There are believed
to be two levels of components to reading higher level processing and lower level
processing (Schau, 2000). Higher level processing entails content knowledge (where the
reader already knows about the topic he or she is reading) or contextual assistance (where
the reader uses the information from the text itself to gain more information about
specific words or phrases) (Schau, 2000). Lower level processing entails gaining
meaning from the bits and pieces that make up words and phrases; that is, letters and
words are the primary source of getting meaningful information from a text (Schau,
2000).
For example, when reading a children’s book, most adults would employ higher
level processing as there would be no new words and the stories are probably already
familiar to them. Reading something more difficult, like the inner workings of a potential
quantum computer, would be exceedingly difficult for the layperson who would need to
rely on having to sound out individual words that were novel; that is, lower level
processing would be more important here. Having these two levels work together
involves using higher level processing for most of what is being read, but using lower
level processing to understand new or unexpected material in the text (Schau, 2000).
7
Learning to read often works from lower processing skills up (Schau, 2000); that
is, learning what the smallest meaningful written symbol that is relevant to spoken
language is and building larger pieces of the language from there. This lower level
processing is key to being a good reader; being able to automatically process this visual
information leaves room for cognitive processing of the larger picture (Schau, 2000).
The less work an individual needs to do with these lower level processes, the easier it is
to read a given text and think about the big picture of what the text describes. Writing
works in the same direction. People learn their native language’s writing system from the
smallest meaningful written symbols (i.e. letters in an alphabet), work their way up to
small words, then larger words, then sentences, etc. While it may not be as dramatic as
with reading, high level processing skills can take over writing after the lower level
processes have become automated; this can be seen in students writing class notes while
looking at the professor and not their notebook or being able to spell most words without
thinking about it and instead focusing on what words or sentences will be written next.
While learning to speak and listen in a second language may be more difficult
than learning to speak or listen in one’s native language, it is believed that learning to
read and write in a second language is even more arduous (Schau, 2000). When learning
to read and write in one’s native language, there is already a phonological foundation on
which to build the written language; this foundation rarely exists for individuals learning
to read and write in a second language (Guan, et al., 2011). Additionally, although
learning to read and write in a second language is difficult for second language learners
who are skilled readers in their first language, it is even more difficult for individuals
8
who are poor readers and writers in their native language (Arrow, 2004). This is because
learners of a second language will use their prior knowledge of how sounds and
orthography (the writing system for a language) are connected (Guan, et al., 2011; Su,
2010). If this prior knowledge is lacking in any way, it will be detrimental to their
understanding of the connection in a second language.
While higher level processes are at work regardless of language (that is, the reader
will attempt to use previous knowledge and context to help tackle a difficult text whether
it is in their native language or in a second language), lower level processes impede
successful reading if the orthography of a second language is different from the first
language (Schau, 2000; Su, 2010). If the orthography is different between the two
languages, the learner would have to find new ways to process the second orthography
(Chung, 2008; Kubota, 2005; Schau, 2000; Su, 2010). For example, native speakers of
languages with an alphabetic writing system process morphosyllabic or logographic (a
writing system that is only meaning-based and has no relation to sound) symbols
differently than native speakers with a morphosyllabic or logographic writing system
(Kubota, 2005).
The above information pertains to writing Chinese characters, and not just reading
them, because both levels of processing reading (lower and higher) and the relation
between the two deal with writing as well. For example, for the higher level processing,
at times, collocations may help individuals remember characters he or she may not have
remembered if the characters were alone. For the lower level processing, simply
9
remembering one radical (a piece that makes up a character) within a character may be
enough to recall the rest of the character.
This is because visual processing of a written language depends upon the type of
orthography that is used (Schau, 2000). The Orthographic Depth Hypothesis (Katz &
Frost, 1992; Su, 2010) makes this clearer. There are different levels of “depth” into
which an orthographic system can be categorized. The closer that each written symbol is
to the phoneme it represents, and the more transparent this relationship is, the “shallower”
it is said to be (Katz & Frost, 1992; Schau, 2000; Su, 2010). Thus, languages like
Spanish or Italian are considered to be shallow orthographies. English is considered a
deep orthography because, while its alphabet sometimes follows the phonology (the
mental representation of sounds) of the language, it often diverges (take the
pronunciation of the vowel /a/ in the words “have” and “save,” for example). Different
orthographic depths require different reading and writing strategies (Su, 2010); for
instance, deeper languages use more visual strategies while shallower languages use more
phonological strategies to remember how words are written (Su, 2010).
Chinese has an even deeper orthography than English (Guan, et al., 2011). Due to
the nature of Chinese characters (which will be discussed below), there are minimal clues
to how a given character sounds and each character represents a morpheme and possibly
an entire word. It can be very difficult to discern how an unknown character sounds or
what it may mean (Cheung, Chan, & Chong, 2007; Schau, 2000; Shu & Anderson, 1997;
Su, 2010).
10
Another factor at play in second language acquisition is that of first language
transfer. Language transfer is where an individual learning another language takes his or
her knowledge of his or her previously learned language(s) and applies it to the second
language (Winford, 2003). This process can be conscious or subconscious. The positive
result of language transfer allows the learner to more easily acquire rules and words of
the second language, most often when the two languages have commonalities. The
negative result of language transfer, or interference, is when the learner’s acquisition of a
second language is impeded due to the second language being different from the first
(Brown, 2007). It is often expected that these transfers, whether negative or positive, are
the result of the learner using his or her knowledge of the native language to face
challenges in acquiring the second language (Jarvis & Odlin, 2000; Winford, 2003).
While English is not considered a shallow language according to the orthographic
depth hypothesis (Katz & Frost, 1992), it does conform to some phonological rules. With
this in mind, individuals learning Chinese may expect the same type of relationship
between the spoken and written language that English has, which could end in a
misunderstanding of how writing (and reading) Chinese is supposed to work. Even if the
learner is able to grasp that each character represents a syllable, the knowledge that every
syllable in Chinese has its own morphemic meaning may take a considerable amount of
time to comprehend due to negative transfer from English, the morphemes of which
regularly consist of two or more syllables.
11
The Chinese Writing System
Chinese is the oldest continually written orthography in existence, spanning a
history of over 4,000 years (Arrow, 2004). Beginning as pictographs, or pictures, of what
they were representing, Chinese characters evolved over time to what we have today
(Arrow, 2004). While it is easy to discern the pictographic roots of some characters (i.e.
女(nǚ) for “woman”), most characters have become quite abstract and the reader must
rely more on pieces that make up a character, called radicals, to discern their meanings.
While Chinese is often described as logographic, this term is incorrectly applied (Su,
2010). Only around 10% of characters are strictly semantic (meaning-based) (Ho, Ng, et
al., 2003), which is why the term “morphosyllabic,” meaning the orthography represents
morphemes and syllables, is a term which is growing in popularity to describe the
Chinese writing system (Guan, et al., 2011; Su, 2010).
Unlike English, Chinese is a tonal language, which means that the tone in which a
word is said can change the meaning of the word. For instance, 妈, pronounced mā, has a
high steady tone and means “mother.” 麻, pronounced má, has a rising tone and is a
generic term for hemp or flax. 马, pronounced mǎ, has a falling and then rising tone and
means “horse.” 骂, pronounced mà , has a falling tone and means “to scold” or “to abuse.”
еђ—, pronounced ma, has no tone and is used at the end of a question as a kind of verbal
question mark.
Another difference from English is the number of allowed syllable structures.
English has a very complicated syllable structure system while Chinese has a very simple
12
one. The only allowed syllable structures in Chinese are V (vowel), VV (diphthong), CV
(consonant-vowel), CVV (consonant-diphthong), VC (vowel-consonant), and CVC
(consonant-vowel-consonant) (Su, 2010). The last of these structures can only be ended
by the consonants n, Е‹, and Й». Furthermore, each syllable is a morpheme or a word. This
leads to numerous homophones present in Chinese, even with the various tones (there are
only around 1,200 unique syllables in Chinese with tones incorporated) (Ho, 1989; Koda,
2004). Such homophones can be confusing to native speakers and learners of Chinese,
both in listening and writing.
Each character in Chinese represents a syllable as well as a morpheme (Ho, Ng, et
al., 2003; Koda, 2004; P. D. Liu, Chung, McBride-Chang, & Tong, 2010; Shu &
Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010). Because of this, the ability for an individual to be fluent in
reading and writing Chinese requires that he or she knows over 3,000 characters (Arrow,
2004; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Koda, 2004; Su, 2010). As with any writing system, this
requires the individual to know the pronunciation, the shape (what it looks like or how it
is written), and the meaning (Allen, 1992; Arrow, 2004; Chung, 2008) of each character.
Each Chinese character is composed of one or more radicals (Allen, 1992; Koda,
2004), which are the smallest meaningful unit in a Chinese character (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003;
Shen & Ke, 2007; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010). Characters that are only made of
one radical, or simple characters (Koda, 2004; Su, 2010), make up around 10%-20% of
all Chinese characters (Everson, 1998; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; P. D. Liu, et al., 2010).
Characters that have two or more characters are called compound characters; around
13
80%-90% of Chinese characters fall into this category (Everson, 1998; Ho, 1989; Ho, Ng,
et al., 2003; Koda, 2004; Su, 2010).
These radicals are classified into two categories: semantic and phonetic (Allen,
1992; Ho, 1989; Koda, 2004; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010). Semantic radicals
generally give the meaning or semantic category of a character and are most often found
on the left or top of a character (Allen, 1992; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Koda, 2004; P. D. Liu,
et al., 2010; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010). There are around 200 semantic radicals
in Chinese (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Su, 2010). Phonetic radicals give phonological clues to
how a character is pronounced and are often found on the right or bottom of characters
(Allen, 1992; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Su, 2010). There are 800 to 1,200 phonetic radicals in
Chinese (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Koda, 2004; Su, 2010).
Semantic radicals tend to be more transparent in their meanings than phonetic
radicals are in their phonological clues (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Su, 2010). A reader may
know either kind of radical directly or through knowing their functions from other
characters (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Ho, Wong, & Chan, 1999). Even with such inference,
the accuracy of a prediction of a character’s sound based on its phonetic radical is only
around 40% (Ho, 1989; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Koda, 2004), which drops even lower, to
24%, if tone is taken into consideration (Everson, 1998; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003). Moreover,
the more frequently a character occurs, the less likely it is that the phonetic radical will
correspond with the sound of the character or that the semantic radical will be related to
the character’s semantic category (Everson, 1998). Some radicals take multiple shapes
that are only found in certain parts of a character (for example, еїѓ (xД«n), the heart radical,
14
which is semantic, is only found on the bottom of a character, while its other form еї„ is
only found on the left side of a character) (Allen, 1992). Additionally, many phonetic
radicals can stand alone as a complete character, but semantic radicals usually cannot (Su,
2010).
These radicals are further divided into strokes, which is a line, curve, or angle that
is written without lifting the pen or brush from the paper (Ho, 1989). There are eight or
24 basic strokes that make up radicals, depending on how they are being counted (on the
upper end of the number of strokes, some of these can be further divided into smaller
stroke combinations, leading to the smaller count) (Guan, et al., 2011; Su, 2010). Both
strokes and radicals have very strict rules regarding the direction and order in which they
are written (Allen, 1992; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; P. D. Liu, et al., 2010). The order for
radicals is usually left to right and top to bottom (Allen, 1992).
Levels of Orthographic Awareness for Those Learning the Chinese Writing
System
As learners go through their courses or levels of self-teaching, they go through
three levels of orthographic awareness (Ke & Li, 2011; Su, 2010). The first level is precomponent processing. During this stage, entire characters are added to the learner’s
lexicon without a lot of processing (Allen, 1992); the learner will likely be able to notice
that there are radicals, but with such a small vocabulary and a large number of radicals,
they do not have the means to notice patterns of what these radicals may mean, sound
15
like, or certain positional constraints, all of which are very important for remembering
characters (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Ke & Li, 2011; Shen & Ke, 2007; Su, 2010). Thus,
written errors found early in the first level or orthographic awareness involve writing
general shapes that look similar to the target character.
Those more advanced in this level may be able to start discerning what semantic
category a new character belongs to based on its semantic radical, but would not be able
to guess a new character’s pronunciation (Allen, 1992; Ke & Li, 2011; Shu & Anderson,
1997; Su, 2010). They also start to be able to recognize illegal radicals and legal radicals
in illegal positions when more advanced in the first level of orthographic awareness (Su,
2010; Wang, Liu, & Perfetti, 2004; Wang, Perfetti, & Liu, 2003). At this point, written
errors would be expected to be with only one radical within a compound character.
During this level, characters learned near the beginning and end of a course will
more likely be remembered than those taught in the middle of the course (Ke & Li, 2011).
The fewer strokes a character has, the more likely it will be written correctly, and the
errors that learners in this level make will not be the same types of errors that native
speakers of Chinese make (Ke & Li, 2011). While many learners rapidly learn Chinese
in their first year or two of study, it still takes most learners knowledge of over 3,000
characters (about three years of classroom study) to continue to the next stage according
to some research (Ke & Li, 2011; Shen & Ke, 2007).
The second stage of orthographic awareness is the component processing stage
(Ke & Li, 2011; Su, 2010). At this point, the learner is able to apply their understanding
of how Chinese characters are constructed to identify and name known characters and
16
guess the meanings of and sound of simple, transparent novel characters (Ke & Li, 2011;
Shen & Ke, 2007; Su, 2010). Many characters have found their ways into the learner’s
long-term memory, especially characters and radicals that are transparent in meaning or
sound and which frequently occur (Ke & Li, 2011; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010). At
this stage, learners are able to notice and correct errors in others’ writings and his or her
own (Kubota, 2005). Reaching the second stage may take anywhere from six months to
two years according to some research (Su, 2010). Written errors at this stage would
likely include new, complex, and/or rare characters missing strokes.
The third stage of orthographic awareness is the automatic component processing
stage (Ke & Li, 2011; Su, 2010). At this point in their learning, students have a nativelike awareness of the Chinese writing system and are able to recognize and produce
characters based on frequent components, as well as radicals that do not strictly belong to
phonetic or semantic radicals (Ke & Li, 2011). They are able to make good guesses on
the meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar characters, have good judgment on the
legality of pseudocharacters (characters that have follow legal placement of radicals but
are not real characters), and most errors made in writing characters are phonological,
which is also the most common type of error made by native speakers (Ke & Li, 2011)..
Learning to Read and Write in Chinese
As stated before, reading and writing are related due to their shared characteristics.
Firstly, they are unnatural; that is, speaking and listening to a language is innate to human
17
beings, but reading and writing must be consciously learned. Secondly, they share the
same cognitive processes, as they both deal with the transfer of information between the
spoken language and its writing system. Reading involves this information goes from the
page to the spoken language, while writing goes from the spoken language to the page.
They both involve the abstract process of transforming aural information into a physical
representation that others can understand. Due to their related nature and scarce research
into learning to write Chinese as a second language, studies involving both learning to
read and write in Chinese will be considered. These studies deal with learners of Chinese
as a second language unless otherwise stated.
Chinese as a foreign language instructors are taking various studies on how
learners acquire Chinese into consideration. For instance, by using knowledge gained
from studies on how people learn a second language, more foreign language classrooms
are shifting from being teacher-centered to learner-centered (Arrow, 2004). A common
way of teaching Chinese characters is to divide new characters into their radical
components and showing how they fit together (Kubota, 2005). Indeed, teaching radicals
to students has been found to be beneficial, as it is important for word and character
recognition (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Shu & Anderson, 1997).
While semantic processing is the dominant process in reading Chinese characters
(Schau, 2000; Su, 2010), phonological processing (connecting the written symbols on a
page to the phonology, or sounds, of a language) still plays an important role in
recognizing and understanding characters (Schau, 2000). Phonological processing is key
because it accesses short-term memory, which is necessary for remembering what was
18
read earlier in a sentence to be able to piece the whole sentence together or to help
remember a new character (Schau, 2000). Studies with English learners of Japanese as a
second language regarding Japanese Kanji (which are or are based on Chinese characters)
have shown that participants remembered pseudocharacters better if there was a phonetic
radical (Mori, 1998; Schau, 2000).
However, most of the focus from teachers is on the semantic radical, leaving
learners to discover the sounds of phonetic radicals on their own (Everson, 1998; Su,
2010). This is exceedingly difficult for students not only because phonetic radicals are
less transparent than semantic radicals, but also because many characters taught early on
in a Chinese language classroom have irregular phonetic radicals (Su, 2010), making it
even more challenging to find any kind of phonetic patterns. While teachers are
becoming more aware of how people learn a second language successfully, learners are
still mostly unaware of what may be more beneficial to them (Arrow, 2004). This often
leads to students becoming frustrated with the language and dropping out of courses
(Grainger, 2005; Su, 2010) and quickly forgetting what they had learned (Grainger, 2005).
There are many things that students should be aware of to help them in their
journey to fluency in a second language. For instance, it has been found that good
language learners use more learning strategies than poor language learners (Arrow, 2004;
Butler, 2011). Learning strategies that learners use to make predictions about the sounds
and meanings of unknown words are through intralingual inference (using knowledge
from the second language), interlingual inference (applying knowledge from one
19
language to another), and through extralingual inference (applying knowledge from the
outside world) (Arrow, 2004).
Ways that Chinese as a second language learners use to remember Chinese
characters can be quite varied, and many will develop or use ways they find most useful
to them (Su, 2010). This is certainly tied to how each student approaches Chinese and
what they find the most difficult about characters. Many students use flashcards with the
character, meaning, and pinyin (the way Chinese is transcribed in the Roman alphabet) or
among other methods of memorization (Arrow, 2004; Everson, 1998; Grainger, 2005),
most likely due to students finding the shape of a character the most difficult aspect
(Arrow, 2004). Other methods for remembering how to write a character were repetition
of writing a given character multiple times (Arrow, 2004; Everson, 1998; Grainger, 2005;
Ke & Li, 2011; Kubota & Toyoda, 2001), creating mnemonic devices about how the
character looked (usually this is done by using the radicals in a character; for example, to
remember the character 好 (hǎo) “good,” one can divide the radicals and say that a
woman (女) with her child (子) is a good thing) (Everson, 1998; Ke & Li, 2011; Kubota
& Toyoda, 2001), or by associating a new character with characters already known
(Grainger, 2005).
Another method learners use builds on what many classrooms do, which is
dividing the character into its radicals and remembering them and how they fit together
(Grainger, 2005; Ke & Li, 2011; Kubota & Toyoda, 2001; Su, 2010), although students
tend to prefer rote memorization of characters over this method after a year of study (Ke
& Li, 2011). In a study by Kubota and Toyoda (2001), it was found that students who
20
divided characters into their radical components did a better job on a short-term memory
writing task than those who used repetitious writing of a character.
For those who found remembering the sound of a character to be difficult, reading
texts aloud, using sound correspondences with their native language (i.e. one participant
remembered 东 (dōng), “east,” by the sun rising in the east and an alarm clock goes
“dong” around sunrise) (Everson, 1998; Ke & Li, 2011; Kubota & Toyoda, 2001), and
color coding tones was thought to be beneficial to them (Arrow, 2004). Focusing on
remembering phonetic radicals may be beneficial to those who find remembering the
sounds of characters difficult, as it has been found that those with an alphabetic native
language already, and often involuntarily, search for phonetic clues in Chinese characters
(Kubota & Toyoda, 2001; Mori, 1998).
As for remembering the meanings of characters, students found self-made
vocabulary dictionaries and saying their native language equivalent while looking at the
character to be helpful (Arrow, 2004). While some participants of Arrow’s (2004) study
claimed that reading authentic materials was helpful, other papers (Grainger, 2005) have
shown that using authentic materials for learning Chinese is exceedingly difficult. The
reason for this is that Chinese is classified as a category four language, which means that
it takes three times as long to achieve second language fluency than learning a category
one language like Spanish or French (Grainger, 2005; Su, 2010).
21
Character Errors in Learning Chinese
Errors are very common in learning any second language, but errors by those
learning to write Chinese characters are different than those by learners of syllabic or
alphabetic languages. According to Kubota (2005), common errors in writing include:
confusion with characters that are morphologically similar to other characters, misshapen
radicals (Ishida, 2000), strokes that are written in an incorrect direction, strokes that are
too long or too short, confusion with homonymous characters (Ishida, 2000; Su, 2010),
and missing one or more characters in a multi-character word. Among language learners
with an alphabetic or syllabic native language orthography, the most common errors are
writing strokes in the wrong direction and with stroke length (Kubota, 2005). Other
studies have found that using incorrect radicals or omitting strokes was another common
error among learners of Chinese as a foreign language (Hatta, Kawakami, & Tamaoka,
1998; Su, 2010).
Such errors come about because learners of Chinese as a second language have a
higher cognitive load than learners of, for example, an alphabetic language. All aspects
of a character - sound, meaning, and shape - must be learned immediately and
remembered for the long term (Chung, 2008; Guan, et al., 2011; Perfetti, Liu, & Tan,
2005; Taft, Zhu, & Peng, 1999; Wang, et al., 2003). This results from the typical way
that characters are presented in classrooms and textbooks. Multiple characters are
presented at once, each with what they look like, what they mean, and how they sound
(Chung, 2008; Everson, 1998). With all of these presented at the same time, learners
22
often involuntarily sacrifice two of the attributes of a character to only remember one due
to such a high cognitive load (Chung, 2008).
Ways to decrease some of this cognitive load have been found by some students
learning Chinese. For example, students who practice characters in the context of other
characters, whether it be to make words or within a sentence, were shown to be more
effective at writing characters correctly than practicing characters individually (Ke & Li,
2011). Also, the more often a character occurs in Chinese, the less likely errors will be
made in writing (Ke, 1996; Ke & Li, 2011). It should be kept in mind, however, that
one’s fluency in speaking or listening in Chinese will not help him or her significantly in
writing or reading Chinese due to the nature of the characters. Part of the reason for this
is that phonetic radicals are more numerous than semantic radicals and are generally less
transparent than semantic radicals (Ke & Li, 2011).
Another important factor is that learning Chinese characters can be so arduous for
native speakers of English because of the orthographic differences between the two
languages. Studies have shown that learners of a second language with a morphosyllabic
or logographic writing system have a harder time learning the script if they come from a
native language with an alphabetic orthography rather than a native language of a
logographic or morphosyllabic orthography (Chikamatsu, 1996; Grainger, 2005; Hatta, et
al., 1998; Hatta, Kawakami, & Tamaoka, 2002; Schau, 2000). In other words, if
someone whose native language is English is learning Chinese, it would be more difficult
and take more time to learn the script than for a native speaker of Japanese.
23
At all levels of fluency, it appears that there are several important factors to keep
in mind for students who are learning Chinese as a second language. First is that
successful learners use several learning strategies (Arrow, 2004; Butler, 2011). Second is
that radical awareness leads to better reading and better written characters than
remembering characters as a whole (Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su,
2010). Third, it should be remembered that Chinese takes a very long time and a lot of
practice to become fluent, especially compared to other languages (Chung, 2008;
Grainger, 2005; Ke, Wen, & Kotenbeutel, 2001; Schau, 2000; Su, 2010), so if the
Chinese class seems to be moving more slowly than a Spanish class, there is no need for
concern or to drop the course out of frustration.
In summary, it is expected that beginning learners of Chinese as a foreign
language will make several character errors because of their low level of orthographic
awareness (Allen, 1992; Su, 2010) and due to a high cognitive load given to them based
on the presentation of novel characters from their textbooks (Chung, 2008; Y. Liu, Yao,
et al., 2009a). Learners’ errors are predominately found within a character rather than
through the confusion with other characters, as they do not have a large enough lexicon to
confuse characters based on meaning or homophones (Allen, 1992; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003;
Ke & Li, 2011; Shen & Ke, 2007; Su, 2010). Learners are also expected to perform
poorly in stroke order because, at this level in their orthographic awareness, characters
are remembered as a whole or as their radicals, but not through the smallest constituents
(Allen, 1992; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Ke & Li, 2011; Shen & Ke, 2007; Su, 2010).
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Most studies done with Chinese as a foreign language learners has been done on
character recognition in reading; little to no research has been done on how students learn
and how students produce Chinese characters. For my study, I have the following
questions about first semester students of Chinese as a foreign language, the answers to
which I hope will shine more light on this inadequately researched area of second
language acquisition:
1) Will learners at such an early stage of orthographic awareness make errors
predominately with semantic radicals, phonetic radicals, or will there be no
difference? It could be assumed that semantic radicals would have fewer
errors because they are more transparent and fewer in number than phonetic
radicals (Everson, 1998; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Ke & Li, 2011; Su, 2010). This
question, however, has not been answered for Chinese as a foreign language
students in any studies that I am aware of. The answer to this question would
25
not only provide insight into this scantly researched area, but could potentially
improve teaching methods for teachers of Chinese as a foreign language.
2) Does incorrect and/or varied stroke order have any impact on producing
semantic radicals and phonetic radicals? Again, this does not seem to be well
researched for Chinese as a foreign language learners and the answer could
have vast implications for teaching if incorrect and/or varied stroke order
leads to poorly formed or incorrect radicals of either category.
3) Does incorrect and/or varied stroke order have any impact on producing
characters overall? Once more, there seems to be little to no research
regarding this for Chinese as a foreign language learners. The implications
for teaching are even more important here; if the reason that characters are
written incorrectly is to the students’ inability to use correct stroke order,
more class time would surely need to be dedicated to teaching correct stroke
order.
METHOD
Participants
An email was sent to the professor of CH 101 at Ball State University at the end
of the Fall 2011 semester requesting she ask for participants who were native speakers of
English for my study. Five participants took part in this study. All five are Ball State
University students who were at the end of their first semester of Mandarin (CH 101) and
were taught in the same class by the same teacher. This level was selected not only to
elicit more errors (as beginning students of any foreign language will make more errors
than advanced students), but also to see how beginning learners of Chinese go about
writing a completely foreign orthography after only four months of study. All
participants are native speakers of English. Native speakers of English were wanted for
participants because they would have no native speaker intuitions about the nature of
Chinese characters.
Four participants were female and one was male. Random numbers were
assigned to each participant. Participants 34, 57, 82, and 20 had been studying Mandarin
27
(writing, reading, speaking, and listening) for four months, although participant 20 did
have some experience with Mandarin at seven years old, but she said it was very minimal
and she did not remember any of it prior to restarting learning it four months prior to this
study. Participant 82 considered Spanish to be a second language and Participant 20
considered herself to be fluent in French and at an intermediate level in German.
Participant 5 was excluded from this study due to being both left-handed and dyslexic –
both would very interesting topics to be looked into for future research.
Materials
Materials used in this study were the courses three books: the textbook, workbook,
and character workbook from the third edition of the series Integrated Chinese дё­ж–‡еђ¬иЇґ
读写: Level 1 Part 1 (Y. Liu, Yao, et al., 2009a, 2009b). Specifically, Lesson 5 reading
comprehension exercise B found on page 85 of the workbook was used for one of the
writing tasks. A digital camcorder was used as well as a tripod. SPSS 19 was used for
correlation analysis. Analysis of stroke order was done with mdbg.net,
chineseetymology.org, and the character workbook from the course (Y. Liu, Yao, Bi, Ge,
et al., 2009)
28
Tasks
Two writing tasks were presented to the participants to complete. The first task
was a free writing exercise requesting information about their best friend to be written in
Chinese with additional questions to help participants think about what details they could
write about. The free writing task was given in order to allow participants the
opportunity to write characters in which they were confident and to possibly avoid those
in which they were not confident. The second exercise was a translation exercise that
was from the last chapter completed by the class in their class’s exercise workbook (Y.
Liu, Yao, et al., 2009b). The passage, Lesson 5 reading comprehension exercise B found
on page 85, was in Chinese, which I translated into English for the participants to
translate back into Chinese. This translation task was given so as to persuade participants
to attempt to write characters they may not have felt comfortable in writing, thus it would
be more likely to elicit errors.
Procedures
Seven signatures were acquired with five people coming to participate by the end
of the semester. Participants met with me individually in a quiet room on Ball State
University’s campus with few distractions. Participants were given consent forms
explaining the process of data collection when they came to participate. Participants then
read through and signed a consent form to the study. Then, questions were asked about
29
their native languages and how long they had been studying Chinese. I then gave a short
oral explanation of what they were to do for the study.
Participants were then given two writing exercises, each marked with their
participant number which was randomly assigned by a random number generator
(http://www.random.org/) with the minimum number being one and the maximum
number being 100. The two writing exercises were created and selected in order to elicit
long responses.
A digital camcorder was placed on a tripod which was placed on the opposite side
of the dominant hand of the participant and above his/her shoulder in order to record
stroke order. It was angled in such a way so as not to capture the faces of the participants.
No sound from the video was taken into consideration so as to ensure anonymity. At the
beginning of each video, a notecard containing the participant’s random number was
shown to ensure data from each participant could be matched.
After the participants were finished with their exercises, the video recording was
transferred to a password protected laptop and deleted from the camcorder. The
participants’ language histories and writing samples were scanned and stored on the same
password protected laptop with the hard copies kept in a locked desk.
ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
Data was coded by me through the use of the writing task and video of each
participant writing the exercises. Characters that were erased were not considered, as it
was determined by the participants to be mistakes. Analysis was done to determine if the
characters they wrote were correctly written at the entire character, semantic radical,
phonetic radical, stroke order within the semantic radical, and stroke order within the
phonetic radical levels. The time that the participant began and finished writing each
character was also recorded. Stroke order was determined through a recommended
textbook for their course (Y. Liu, Yao, Bi, Ge, et al., 2009) and through mdbg.net, an
online Chinese dictionary. Semantic radicals and phonetic radicals were determined
through chineseetymology.org, an online etymology of the history of Chinese characters.
A character was considered incorrect if it was missing a radical, used an incorrect
radical, or a radical was not written correctly (i.e. too many strokes). A radical was
considered incorrect if it was the wrong radical or was not written correctly. Stroke order
was considered incorrect if a stroke was written in the wrong direction, the order of
31
strokes was incorrect, if one stroke was separated into two or more strokes, or if two or
more strokes were combined into one stroke.
32
Table 1
Scores on Both Tests and Combined
Free Writing
Correct
Radicals (%)
Partic.
20
34
57
82
Correct
Strokes (%)
Avg. Time
No. of
Correct
Per Char.
Chars.
Chars. (%) Sem. Phon. Sem. Phon. Time (sec)
67
94 98.1
93.9 22.2
26.5 14:21
12.8
25
68
75
77.3 12.5
9.1
8:44
20.9
62
85.5
98
80.9 54.9
25.5
3:40
3.5
69
89.9 95.8
92.3 64.6
51.9 10:01
8.7
Avg.
55.8
84.4
91.7
86.1
38.6
28.3
9:11
11.5
Translation
Correct
Radicals (%)
Partic.
20
34
57
82
Avg.
Correct
Strokes (%)
Avg. Time
No. of
Correct
Phon
Per Char.
Chars.
Chars. (%) Sem. .
Sem. Phon. Time (sec)
61
86.9
92.7 90.7 21.8
32.6 12:05
11.9
101
64.4
87.7 68.4
9.9
22.8 29:48
17.7
137
94.9
97.2 95.4 45.4
52.3 10:13
4.5
117
73.5
71.3 78.9 41.5
50.5 19:40
10.1
104.0
79.9
87.2
83.4
29.7
39.6
17:56
11.1
No. of
Correct
Phon
Partic.
Chars.
Chars. (%) Sem. .
Sem. Phon. Time
20
128
90.5
95.4 92.3 22.0
29.6 26:26
34
126
66.2
81.4 72.9 11.2
16.0 38:32
57
199
90.2
97.6 88.2 50.2
38.9 13:53
82
186
81.7
83.6 85.6 53.1
51.2 29:41
Avg. Time
Per Char.
(sec)
12.4
19.3
4.0
9.4
Combined
Correct
Radicals (%)
Avg.
159.8
82.1
89.5
84.7
Correct
Strokes (%)
34.1
33.9
27:08
11.3
33
Table 1 shows a comparison of the number of characters, the percentages of
correct characters, radicals, and strokes, times, and average times per character for the
free writing task, the translation task, and of both tasks combined.
Table 2
Number of Radicals
Participant
Free Writing
Translation
Combined
20
34
57
82
Total
20
34
57
82
Total
20
34
57
82
Total
Semantic Radicals Phonetic Radicals
54
49
16
22
51
47
48
52
169
170
55
43
81
79
108
109
94
95
338
326
109
92
97
101
159
156
142
147
507
496
Table 2 shows the number of semantic radicals and phonetic radicals per
participant and combined for the free writing task, the translation task, and the two tasks
combined.
34
Figure 1.1 Number of Characters
250
No. of Characters
200
150
No. of Translation Chars.
100
No. of Free Chars.
50
0
20
34
57
82
Participant
Figure 1.1 gives a graph of how many characters each participant wrote for the
free writing exercise and the translation exercise, as well as the total number of characters.
% Correct
Figure 1.2 Radicals
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Semantic Free
Phonetic Free
Semantic Translation
Phonetic Translation
20
34
57
82
Participant
Figure 1.2 gives a graph of the percentage of correct of radicals (on the surface)
each participant wrote for the free writing exercise and for the translation exercise.
35
Figure 1.3 Stroke Order
70
60
% Correct
50
40
Semantic Free
30
Phonetic Free
Semantic Translation
20
Phonetic Translation
10
0
20
34
57
82
Participant
Figure 1.3 gives the percentage of correct stroke order for each participant for the
free writing task and for the translation task.
Figure 1.4 Combined Scores
100.0
90.0
80.0
% Correct
70.0
60.0
Correct Chars.
50.0
Semantic Radical
40.0
Phonetic Radical
30.0
Semantic Stroke
20.0
Phonetic Stroke
10.0
0.0
20
34
57
Participant
82
36
Figure 1.4 gives a graph for all of the percentages of correct characters, radicals,
and stroke orders for the free writing task and translation task combined.
Figure 1.5 Number of Radicals
500
400
Free Semantic
Free Phonetic
300
Translation Semantic
200
Translation Phonetic
Total Semantic
100
Total Phonetic
0
20
34
57
82
Total
Participant
Figure 1.5 shows the total numbers of semantic radicals and phonetic radicals
used by each participant in each writing task and with both tasks combined, and for all
participants in each writing task and both tasks combined.
Table 3 through Table 6 (found in Appendix A) present the data from each
participant. Each table gives every character that was written by the participant. For the
categories of correctness, a 1 represents that the character, radical, or stroke order was
correct and a 0 represents that it was not. The free writing task is presented first and the
translation task second. At the end of each of these tasks, total numbers of characters and
radicals are presented as well as the number of correct characters and radicals written by
37
the participant. The time it took for the participant to finish each task is also present at
the bottom of each task.
Table 3 (Appendix A) shows the results for Participant 20. In the free writing
task, Participant 20 wrote a total of 67 characters in 14 minutes and 21 seconds and 63
(94.0%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the surface; that is, as a whole rather
than through how the character was written stroke-by-stroke. Constructing these 67
characters were 54 semantic radicals and 49 phonetic radicals. Fifty three (98.1%) of the
semantic radicals were correct on the surface and 46 (93.9%) of the phonetic radicals
were correct on the surface. When analyzed for stroke order, 12 (22.2%) of the semantic
radicals were written correctly and 13 (26.5%) of the phonetic radicals were written
correctly.
For the translation task, Participant 20 wrote a total of 61 characters in 12 minutes
and five seconds and 53 (86.9%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the surface.
Constructing these 61 characters were 55 semantic radicals and 43 phonetic radicals.
Fifty one (92.7%) of the semantic radicals were correct on the surface and 39 (90.7%) of
the phonetic radicals were correct on the surface. When analyzed for stroke order, 12
(21.8%) of the semantic radicals were written correctly and 14 (32.6%) of the phonetic
radicals were written correctly. The total time to finish both tasks was 26 minutes and 26
seconds.
Table 4 (Appendix A) shows the results for Participant 82. In the free writing
task, Participant 82 wrote 69 characters in ten minutes and one second and 62 (89.9%) of
the characters appeared to be correct on the surface. Constructing these characters were
38
48 semantic radicals and 52 phonetic radicals. Forty six (95.8%) of the semantic radicals
appeared to be correct on the surface and 48 (92.3%) of the phonetic radicals appeared to
be correct on the surface. When analyzed for stroke order, 31 (64.6%) of the semantic
radicals were written correctly and 27 (51.9%) of the phonetic radicals were written
correctly.
For the translation task, Participant 82 wrote a total of 117 characters in 19
minutes and 40 seconds and 86 (73.5%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the
surface. These characters consisted of 94 semantic radicals and 95 phonetic radicals.
Sixty-seven (71.3%) of the semantic radicals appeared to be correct on the surface and 75
(78.9%) of the phonetic radicals appeared to be correct on the surface. When analyzed
for stroke order, 39 (41.5%) of the semantic radicals were written correctly and 48
(50.5%) of the phonetic radicals were written correctly. The total time to complete both
tasks was 29 minutes and 41 seconds.
Table 5 (Appendix A) shows the results for Participant 57. For the free writing
task, Participant 57 wrote a total of 62 characters in three minutes and 40 seconds and 53
(85.5%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the surface. These characters were
constructed of 51 semantic radicals and 47 phonetic radicals. Fifty (98.0%) of the
semantic radicals appeared to be correct on the surface and 38 (80.9%) of the phonetic
radicals appeared to be correct on the surface. When analyzed for stroke order, 28
(54.9%) of the semantic radicals were written correctly and 12 (25.5%) of the phonetic
radicals were written correctly.
39
For the translation task, Participant 57 wrote a total of 137 characters in ten
minutes and 13 seconds and 127 (94.9%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the
surface. One hundred eight semantic radicals and 109 phonetic radicals were used in
these characters. One hundred five (97.2%) of the semantic radicals appeared to be
correct on the surface and 104 (95.4%) of the phonetic radicals appeared to be correct on
the surface. When analyzed for stroke order, 49 (45.4%) of the semantic radicals were
written correctly and 57 (52.3%) of the phonetic radicals were written correctly. The
total time to complete both tasks was 13 minutes and 53 seconds.
Table 6 (Appendix A) gives the results for Participant 34. For the free writing
task, Participant 34 wrote a total of 25 characters in eight minutes and 44 seconds and 17
(68.0%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the surface. Participant 34 used 16
semantic radicals and 22 phonetic radicals in the 25 characters. Twelve (75.0%) of the
semantic radicals appeared to be correct on the surface and 17 (77.3%) of the phonetic
radicals appeared to be correct on the surface. When strokes were analyzed, two (12.5%)
of the semantic radicals were written correctly and two (9.1%) of the phonetic radicals
were written correctly.
For the translation exercise, Participant wrote a total of 101 characters in 29
minutes and 48 seconds and 65 (64.4%) of the characters appeared to be correct on the
surface. These characters were written with a total of 81 semantic radicals and 79
phonetic radicals. Seventy-one (87.7%) of the semantic radicals appeared to be correct
on the surface and 54 (68.4%) of the phonetic radicals appeared to be correct on the
surface. When strokes were analyzed, eight (9.9%) of the semantic radicals and 18
40
(22.8%) of the phonetic radicals were written correctly. The total time it took to
complete both tasks was 38 minutes and 32 seconds.
Table 7
Means and Standard Deviations
n
Correct Characters (%)
Correct Semantic Radicals (%)
Correct Phonetic Radicals (%)
Correct Semantic Stroke Order (%)
Correct Phonetic Stroke Order (%)
Time (m:ss)
Time Per Character (seconds)
M
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
SD
82.1
89.5
84.7
34.1
33.9
27:08
12
11.9
10.7
9.7
20.3
16.1
8:00
6
Table 7 gives the means and standard deviations for the percentage of correct
characters, radicals, and stroke orders, time, and time per character for the written and
translations tasks combined.
Table 8
Correlations
Cor.
Char.
Cor.
1
Char
Sem.
Rad.
Phon.
Rad.
Sem. Str.
Phon.
Str.
Time
Time per
Char.
* denotes p <.05
** denotes p <.0001
Sem.
Rad.
.773*
Phon.
Rad.
.946**
Sem. Str. Phon.
Str.
.546
.492
Time
-.561
Time per
Char.
-.715*
1
.603
.353
.161
-.334
-.558
1
.435
.511
-.534
-.533
1
.707*
1
-.515
-.006
-.834**
-.657*
1
.482
1
41
Table 8 gives the significant correlations found between the different variables.
There was a positive correlation of .773 between correctly written characters and
correctly written semantic radicals (p= .012). There was a positive correlation of .946
between correctly written characters and correctly written phonetic radicals (p= .0001).
There was a negative correlation of -0.715 between correctly written characters and time
given per character (p= .023). There was a positive correlation of .707 between correctly
written semantic strokes and correctly written phonetic strokes (p= .025). There was a
negative correlation of -0.834 between correctly written semantic strokes and time given
per character (p= .005). There was a negative correlation of -0.657 between correctly
written phonetic strokes and time given per character (p= .039).
DISCUSSION
Even with four participants, this study appears to have a decent cross section of a
Chinese as a foreign language classroom. The lowest score of correct characters overall
was 66.2% and the highest score of correct characters overall was 90.5%, with the overall
average between all participants being 82.1% of characters written correctly. So, while
this study may not have enough participants to be considered a qualitative study, where
the results of which can be expanded to the typical first semester American college
Chinese as a foreign language classroom, the results should be internally viable.
The first focus will be on the number of characters written by the participants.
Participants 20 and 34 wrote roughly the same number of characters overall (128 and 126,
respectively), but to which task the majority of their characters went differed. The reason
behind this was that Participant 20 only had half an hour to allot to the study, so she had
to cut her translation exercise short. Participant 34, on the other hand, seemed to struggle
to come up with his own ideas and characters to share those ideas, but fared better when
words were given to him to translate. Participants 57 and 82 wrote roughly the same
43
number of characters between them (199 and 186, respectively) as well as having roughly
the same distribution of characters between the free writing task (62 and 69, respectively)
and the translation task (137 and 117, respectively).
As seen in Table 6, the number of semantic radicals and phonetic radicals was
close to equal among each participant and for all of the participants combined for each
task and the tasks combined. There were more radicals used in the translation task than
there were used in the free writing task, but this should not be surprising because more
characters were written in the translation task (416) than in the free writing task (223). It
should be noted that most of the characters that were written by the participants in this
study were made up of only either one or more semantic radicals, or one or more
phonetic radicals; that is to say, comparatively few characters were compound characters.
While this may seem odd considering the majority of Chinese characters are
compound characters (Everson, 1998; Ho, Ng, et al., 2003; Su, 2010), it appears that
most of the characters students learn in their first semester of Chinese as a foreign
language are lone semantic radicals or lone phonetic radicals; even in the passage from
the class’s workbook (Y. Liu, Yao, et al., 2009b), which was from the last chapter
finished in the course, very few of the characters are compound characters. Even of those
that incorporate two radicals, many are composed of two semantic radicals rather than
one semantic radical and one phonetic radical.
Considering that the semantic radicals and phonetic radicals occurred with close
to equal frequency among each individual participant and among the tasks (as can be seen
in Figure 1.5), this appears to back up the claim that high frequency words in Chinese
44
tend to use quite a few opaque phonetic radicals and semantic radicals (Everson, 1998;
Ke & Li, 2011; Shu & Anderson, 1997; Su, 2010), as the characters being taught to first
semester students are high frequency words (Su, 2010). Indeed, students may or may not
be aware of the phonetic meanings of 马 (ma) and 巴 (ba) as they appear to be the only
somewhat transparent phonetic radicals to have occurred this far in their study of Chinese.
As for semantic radicals, students may or may not be aware that и® (yГЎn) is for speaking
related words, 女 (nǚ) is for words related to women, and 口 (kǒu) is related to words
about the mouth (e.g. eating, drinking, as well as grammatical characters). The rest may
as well be a mystery, forcing students to remember characters as a whole because they
have no other characters with similar radicals with which to compare novel characters.
Even the radicals presented before the first lesson of their textbook (Y. Liu, Yao, et al.,
2009a) are composed of radicals that can stand on their own; they are almost all semantic
radicals.
Thus it may come as a surprise that the participants of this study did fairly well
with correctly writing characters, semantic radicals, and phonetic radicals of their
characters. It must be taken into consideration, however, that the participants had their
choice of characters for the free writing task, inviting participants to use only the
characters they felt like they knew how to write, and were asked to use characters which
were mostly from the latter part of the course for the translation task, which are among
the easiest to remember when in the first stage of orthographic awareness for Chinese (Ke
& Li, 2011). The only time that there was a confusion of characters was with Participant
82 when she wrote 王朋 (Wáng Péng, “Wang Peng,” a proper name of one of the
45
characters present in the class’s textbook (Y. Liu, Yao, et al., 2009a)) instead of 朋友
(péngyou, “friend”) where the identical character 朋 (péng) confused the participant. The
confusion of these characters led to writing the correct characters for the words that were
intended to be written 99.0% of the time, compared to the overall score of 79.9% of
characters being written correctly.
For the first research question, regarding if semantic radicals or phonetic radicals
would be more likely to be written correctly or if they would be roughly equal,
participants wrote semantic radicals correctly more often than phonetic radicals, although
the difference was not very large. For the free writing task, semantic radicals were
correct 91.7% of the time while phonetic radicals were correct 86.1% of the time. For the
translation task, semantic radicals were correct 87.2% of the time while the phonetic
radicals were correct 83.4% of the time. For the tasks combined, the semantic radicals
were correct 89.5% of the time while the phonetic radicals were correct 84.7% of the
time.
Common errors in stroke order were the direction of strokes, combining two or
more strokes into one stroke, and the order in which the strokes were written. For the
free writing task, there was a 38.6% rate of correct stroke order within a semantic radical
and a 28.3% rate of correct stroke order within a phonetic radical. For the translation task,
strokes were written in the correct order within semantic radicals 29.7% of the time while
strokes were written in the correct order within phonetic radicals 39.6% of the time. For
both tasks combined, the percentages were very close, with a 34.1% rate of correct stroke
46
order within semantic radicals and a 33.9% rate of correct stroke order within phonetic
radicals.
The errors seen with repeated radicals appeared to mostly be already fossilized;
that is, the strokes within a repeated radical for a given participant were almost always
the same throughout both writing tasks. The only times that participants tended to stray
from fossilized errors regarding strokes was when they separated strokes from strokes
they had combined or the order in which the same repeated stroke was written within a
radical. For example, the image below shows the correct stroke order for the radical з›®
and two variant ways that were used by one of the participants. The number shows the
order of the strokes as well as the starting point for each stroke.
Correct stroke order
Incorrect variant 1
47
Incorrect variant 2
In regards to the second research question, correct stroke order was not a
significant factor in forming correct radicals. Even while the participants did rather
poorly writing strokes in the correct order, the radicals looked fine from the surface.
For third research questions, correct stroke order was not a significant factor on
writing characters correctly. The only significance stroke order had was that phonetic
stroke order was significant with the semantic radical stroke order. This makes sense, as
learners would not be expected to get correct stroke order with phonetic radicals but not
with semantic radicals, as all radicals come from the same eight or 24 strokes.
Incorrect and varied stroke order may have an impact later in the participants’
learning, however, as more radicals and characters are expected to be remembered. Just
as recognizing that characters are divided into radicals lessens the cognitive load on one’s
memory (Ho, Yau, & Au, 2003; Su, 2010), being able to divide radicals into eight or 24
basic strokes would lessen the cognitive load even more.
An interesting result of this study is that being able to write correct semantic
radicals and correct phonetic radicals is correlated to writing a character as a whole
correctly (see Table 8). This is likely due to the fact that most the characters written by
48
participants were composed of single radicals (either semantic or phonetic) or composed
of two semantic radicals or two phonetic radicals. When most of the characters are only
a single radical, the participants would have to write that one radical correctly to write the
character correctly.
CONCLUSION
This study involved four native English speakers who were finishing their first
semester of Chinese at Ball State University. At this level of their learning, participants
were able to write many of their characters correctly, as well as radicals. Stroke order,
however, was quite inaccurate. Participants did better on the free writing task than on the
translation task, most likely due to the ease of avoiding unknown characters in the free
writing task. Semantic radicals were correct more often than phonetic radicals. Writing
the correct semantic and phonetic radicals was the strongest correlation to writing correct
characters.
These results suggest that Chinese as a foreign language classrooms should spend
more time on teaching the meanings of semantic radicals and the sounds of phonetic
radicals as students learn new characters, as well as the stroke order. Such a simple
change in teaching methods will make it easier for students to deconstruct characters into
pieces that are less numerous than the number of Chinese characters as a whole. This in
50
turn will make it easier for students to remember how to write new characters, as well as
recognizing them when they are reading.
This study has added to the field of second language acquisition in that it has
given us a glimpse into how English learners of Chinese as a second language acquire
Chinese characters through the types of errors in their writing. As stated previously,
there has been little research done in acquiring a writing system so drastically different
from the writing system of one’s native language; this study has shed some light in this
area. Larger studies will need to be done to make results more generalizable, but this
study can help future researchers know where to look and what to look for.
For future research, this study should be repeated to gather more participants so
that the results could help Chinese as a foreign language teachers nationwide. Part of the
issue in getting participants was that it was very close to finals week, so those who did
come sacrificed valuable study time; perhaps doing a study like this one two to three
weeks before finals week would find more students willing to participate. Moreover, this
study should be repeated with questions to the participants about how they think about
characters and what methods they use to remember characters. Furthermore, more
studies similar to this one should be done with students of higher fluency, preferably at
each semester of Chinese they study. It would be very interesting to see if more
characters are remembered, correct, and written correctly as students become more fluent.
Studies should also be conducted on left-handed learners of Chinese, dyslexic
learners of Chinese, and learners of Chinese who hold both attributes. What was found
with Participant 5 was quite interesting, but unfortunately could not be used due to these
51
variables that made her unlike any of the other participants. I would like to see studies
done with these people to see not only how they learn to write Chinese characters, but if
they create their own rules of writing that help them learn, if these rules work reliably,
and if a particular type of instruction would assist them in learning Chinese.
While the teaching of radicals should remain a focus of teachers of Chinese as a
second language (Ho, et al., 1999; Shen & Ke, 2007; Su, 2010), I believe that the
teaching of strokes should be of more importance in the classroom than it is now. While
it does not appear that stroke order matters at the end of the first semester of college
study in order for students to write characters correctly, teaching students stroke order
may lessen the cognitive load present in writing Chinese characters. This is even more
important as students progress through courses and more characters are expected to be
remembered; the fewer ways to write given radicals that need to be remembered, the
easier it will be for stroke order to become automatic so that learners can focus more of
their attention on radicals and characters as a whole.
This study has added to an insufficiently researched area of second language
acquisition and I hope that it encourages others to look into it as well. As more studies
are conducted on what errors students make when writing Chinese characters and how
they learn to write characters, the knowledge gained through such will help improve
Chinese as a foreign language pedagogy.
REFERENCES
Abbott, M. G., & Wilcox, S. L. (2009). National K-12 Language Enrollments: Trends
and Analyses from the 2007-2008 Study. Paper presented at the ACTFL 2009
Annual Convention and World Languages Expo, San Diego, CA. Powerpoint
Presentation retrieved from http://www.swa-consulting.com/storage/conferencepapers/Abbott%20%20Wilcox%202009.pdf
Allen, J. R. (1992). I Will Speak, Therefore, of a Graph: A Chinese Metalanguage.
Language in Society, 21(2), 189-206.
Arrow, J. C. (2004). Learning Chinese Characters: A Comparative Study of the Learning
Strategies of Students Whose Native Language Is Alphabet-Based and Students
Whose Native Language Is Character-Based. Ph.D., University of Oklahoma,
Norman.
Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (5th ed.). White
Plains, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
53
Butler, Y. (2011). Kanji Acquisition among Language Minority Students in Japan: A
Comparative Study of Japanese-as-a-Second-Language Students Born in Japan.
Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 26(1), 1-20.
Chan, D. W., Ho, C. S., Tsang, S., & Chung, K. K. H. (2006). Exploring the ReadingWriting Connection in Chinese Children with Dyslexia in Hong Kong. Reading
and Writing, 19, 543-561.
Cheung, H., Chan, M., & Chong, K. (2007). Use of Orthographic Knowledge in Reading
by Chinese-English Bi-scriptal Children. Language Learning, 57(3), 469-505.
Chikamatsu, N. (1996). The Effects of L1 Orthography on L2 Word Recognition: A
Study on American and Chinese Learners of Japanese. Studies in Second
Language Acquisition, 18, 403-432.
Chung, K. K. H. (2008). What Effect Do Mixed Sensory Mode Instructional Formats
Have on Both Novice and Experienced Learners of Chinese Characters? Learning
and Instruction, 18(1), 96-108.
Ethnologue. (2012, April). Chinese, Mandarin: A Language of China Retrieved May 16,
2012, from http://www.ethnologue.org/show_language.asp?code=cmn
Everson, M. E. (1998). Word Recognition among Learners of Chinese as a Foreign
Language: Investigating the Relationship between Naming and Knowing. The
Modern Language Journal, 82(2), 194-204.
Grainger, P. (2005). Second Language Learning Strategies and Japanese: Does
Orthography Make a Difference? System, 33(2), 327-339.
54
Guan, C. Q., Liu, Y., Chan, D. H. L., Ye, F. F., & Perfetti, C. A. (2011). Writing
Strenghtens Orthography and Alphabetic-Coding Strengthens Phonology in
Learning to Read Chinese. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(3), 509-522.
Hatta, T., Kawakami, A., & Tamaoka, K. (1998). Writing Errors in Japanese Kanji: A
Study with Japanese Students and Foreign Learners of Japanese. Reading and
Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 10(3-5), 457-470.
Hatta, T., Kawakami, A., & Tamaoka, K. (2002). Errors in Writing Japanese Kanji: A
Comparison of Japanese Schoolchildren, College Students and Second-Language
Learners of Japanese. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech, 7(1), 157-166.
Ho, C. S. (1989). The Relevance of Visual & Phonological Abilities for Chinese
Beginning Readers. Ph.D., University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Ho, C. S., Ng, T., & Ng, W. (2003). A "Radical" Approach to Reading Development in
Chinese: The Role of Semantic Radicals and Phonetic Radicals. Journal of
Literacy Research, 35(3), 849-878.
Ho, C. S., Wong, W., & Chan, W. (1999). The Use of Orthographic Analogies in
Learning to Read Chinese. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and
Allied Disciplines, 40(3), 393-403.
Ho, C. S., Yau, W., & Au, A. (2003). Development of Orthographic Knowledge and Its
Relationship with Reading and Spelling among Chinese Kindergarten and
Primary School Children. In C. McBride-Chang & H. C. Chen (Eds.), Reading
Development in Chinese Children (pp. 51-71). London: Praeger.
Ishida, T. (2000). Kanji No Shidoohoo (Hi-Kanjikei). In A. Kato (Ed.), Koza Nihongo To
Nihongo Kyooiku 9: Nihongo No Moji Hyooki (Ge) (pp. 290-312).
55
Jarvis, S., & Odlin, T. (2000). Morphological Type, Spatial Reference and Language
Transfer. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 22, 535-556.
Katz, L., & Frost, R. (1992). The Reading Process Is Different for Different
Orthographies: The Orthographic Depth Hypothesis. In R. Frost & L. Katz (Eds.),
Orthography, Phonology, Morphology and Meaning (pp. 67-84). Amsterdam:
North-Holland.
Ke, C. (1996). An Empircal Study on the Relationship between Chinese Character
Recognition and Production. The Modern Language Journal, 80(3), 340-349.
Ke, C., & Li, Y. A. (2011). Chinese as a Foreign Language in the US. Journal of Chinese
Linguistics, 39(1), 177-238.
Ke, C., Wen, X., & Kotenbeutel, C. (2001). Report on the 2000 CTA Articulation Project.
Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 36, 23-58.
Koda, K. (2004). Insights into Second Language Reading. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Kubota, M. (2005). Spelling Correction Strategies Employed by Learners of Japanese.
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 28(1), 67-80.
Kubota, M., & Toyoda, E. (2001). Learning Strategies Employed for Learning Words
Written in Kanji versus Kana. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 24(2), 116.
Liu, P. D., Chung, K. K. H., McBride-Chang, C., & Tong, X. (2010). Holistic versus
Analytic Processing: Evidence for a Different Approach to Processing Chinese at
the Word and Character Levels in Chinese Children. Journal of Experimental
Chinese Psychology, 107(4), 466-478.
56
Liu, Y., Yao, T. C., Bi, N. P., Ge, L., Shi, Y., Chen, Y. F., & Wang, X. (2009). Integrated
Chinese 中文听说读写 中文聽說讀寫: Level 1 Part 1 Character Workbook
Simplified and Traditional Characters. Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, Inc.
Liu, Y., Yao, T. C., Bi, N. P., Shi, Y., Ge, L., Chen, Y. F., & Wang, X. (2009a).
Integrated Chinese 中文听说读写: Level 1 Part 1 Textbook Simplified Character
Edition (3rd ed.). Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, Inc.
Liu, Y., Yao, T. C., Bi, N. P., Shi, Y., Ge, L., Chen, Y. F., & Wang, X. (2009b).
Integrated Chinese 中文听说读写: Level 1 Part 1 Workbook Simplified
Characters (3rd ed.). Boston: Cheng & Tsui Company, Inc.
McEwen, P. (2006). Vocabulary Acquisition in CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language)
Contexts: A Correlation of Performance and Strategy Use. M.A., Brigham Young
University.
Mori, Y. (1998). Effects of First Language and Phonological Accesibility on Kanji
Recognition. The Modern Language Journal, 82(1), 69-82.
Perfetti, C. A., Liu, Y., & Tan, L. H. (2005). The Lexical Constituency Model: Some
Implications of Research on Chinese for General Theories of Reading.
Psychological Review, 112, 43-59.
Schau, K. D. (2000). The Effects of First Language Orthographic Variation on Second
Language Japanese Word Recognition. Ph.D., Purdue University, West Lafayette.
Shen, H. H., & Ke, C. (2007). Radical Awareness and Word Acquisition among
Nonnative Learners of Chinese. The Modern Language Journal, 91(1), 97-111.
57
Shu, H., & Anderson, R. C. (1997). Role of Radical Awareness in the Character and
Word Acquisition of Chinese Children. Reading Reasearch Quarterly, 32(1), 7889.
Siok, W. W. T., Niu, Z., Jin, Z., Perfetti, C. A., & Tan, L. H. (2008). A StructuralFunctional Basis for Dyslexia in the Cortex of Chinese Readers. Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105, 5561-5566.
Su, X. (2010). Radical Awareness among Chinese-as-a-Foreign-Language Learners.
Ph.D., Florida State University.
Taft, M., Zhu, X., & Peng, D. (1999). Positional Specificity of Radicals in Chinese
Character Recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 40, 498-519.
Tan, L. H., Spinks, J. A., Eden, G., Perfetti, C. A., & Siok, W. W. T. (2005). Reading
Depends on Writing in Chinese. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
USA, 102, 8781-8785.
Wang, M., Liu, Y., & Perfetti, C. A. (2004). The Implicit and Explicit Learning of
Orthographic Structure and Function of a New Writing System. Scientific Studies
of Reading, 8(4), 357-379.
Wang, M., Perfetti, C. A., & Liu, Y. (2003). Alphabetic Readers Quickly Acquire
Orthographic Structure in Learning to Read Chinese. Scientific Studies of Reading,
7(2), 183-208.
Winford, D. (2003). An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. Malden, MA: Blackwell
Publishing Ltd.
APPENDIX A
Table 3
Results for Participant 20
Free Writing
Intended Character Correct character
我
1
жњ‰
1
дёЂ
1
дёЄ
1
жњ‹
1
еЏ‹
1
她
1
еЏ«
1
她
1
з”џ
1
她
1
зљ„
1
з”џ
1
ж—Ґ
1
ж�Ї
1
дёЂ
д№ќ
е…«
е…«
1
1
1
1
Correct radical
Semantic Phonetic
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Correct stroke order
Semantic
Phonetic
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
59
年
д№ќ
жњ€
дє”
ж—Ґ
她
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
дєЊ
еЌЃ
дё‰
еІЃ
她
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
дєє
她
е–њ
1
1
1
ж¬ў
зњ‹
0
1
з”µ
еЅ±
е’Њ
еЋ»
и·і
и€ћ
她
зљ„
妈
妈
ж�Ї
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
еЊ»
з”џ
她
зљ„
з€ё
з€ё
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
60
ж�Ї
1
е·Ґ
дєє
她
зљ„
ејџ
ејџ
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
她
жІЎ
жњ‰
妹
妹
1
1
1
0
0
Total
67
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
67
54
63
53
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
49
54
49
46
12
13
Total correct
Time (minutes)
14:21
Translation
Intended Character Correct character
ж�Ё
0
天
1
ж�Ї
1
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
зљ„
з”џ
ж—Ґ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
Correct radical
Semantic Phonetic
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Correct stroke order
Semantic
Phonetic
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
61
иЇ·
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
зљ„
дё‰
дёЄ
е­¦
з”џ
еЋ»
她
зљ„
家
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
еђѓ
饭
ж™љ
дёЉ
дёѓ
з‚№
д»–
еђѓ
ж™љ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
зљ„
家
1
0
еЏЇ
ж�Ї
1
1
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
62
зљ„
家
1
0
�
е…ґ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
зљ„
з€ё
з€ё
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
иЂЃ
её€
1
1
е’Њ
д»–
ж„Џ
0
1
0
жЂќ
1
Total
61
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
61
55
43
55
43
53
51
39
12
14
Total correct
Time (minutes)
12:05
63
Table 4
Results for Participant 82
Free Writing
Intended Character Correct character
我
жњ‰
дёЂ
дёЄ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
д»–
еЏ«
д»–
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
我
зљ„
з”·
1
1
0
зЋ‹
жњ‹
д»–
зљ„
ж—Ґ
з”џ
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
дє”
жњ€
еЌЃ
е…«
еЏ·
д»–
家
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
жњ‰
е…­
еЏЈ
1
1
1
Correct radical
Correct stroke order
Semantic Phonetic Semantic Phonetic
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
64
дєє
д»–
жњ‰
дєЊ
дёЄ
ејџ
ејџ
дёЂ
дёЄ
е§ђ
е§ђ
з€ё
з€ё
妈
妈
е’Њ
д»–
д»–
д№џ
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
大
е­¦
з”џ
我
们
жѓі
зњ‹
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
з”µ
视
д»–
зљ„
妈
妈
д№џ
ж�Ї
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
大
е­¦
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
65
з”џ
е’Њ
Total
69
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
69
48
52
48
52
62
46
48
31
27
Total correct
Time (minutes)
10:01
Translation
Intended Character
ж�Ё
天
ж�Ї
Correct character
0
1
1
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
0
зљ„
ж—Ґ
з”џ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
0
й—®
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
зљ„
еђЊ
е­¦
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
Correct radical
Correct stroke order
Semantic Phonetic Semantic Phonetic
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
66
еЋ»
她
зљ„
家
1
1
1
1
еђѓ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
0
1
1
0
зљ„
з€ё
з€ё
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
иЂЃ
её€
1
0
е’Њ
д»–
жњ‰
ж„Џ
0
1
1
0
жЂќ
1
жќЋ
0
е°Џ
зљ„
妈
妈
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
еЊ»
з”џ
ж�Ё
天
她
еѕ€
еї™
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
67
她
д№ќ
з‚№
ж‰Ќ
е›ћ
来
е’Њ
еђѓ
ж™љ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
зљ„
е“Ґ
1
1
е“Ґ
1
е’Њ
е’Њ
е’Њ
е§ђ
е§ђ
дёЌ
еђѓ
饭
ењЁ
家
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
зЋ‹
жњ‹
е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
0
1
0
妈
妈
з€ё
з€ё
е–ќ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
68
иЊ¶
е’Њ
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
е–ќ
еЏЇ
д№ђ
е’Њ
зњ‹
1
0
1
0
1
з”µ
视
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
еЌЃ
з‚№
ж™љ
дёЉ
е›ћ
家
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Total
117
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
117
94
95
94
95
86
67
75
39
48
Total correct
69
Time (minutes)
19:40
70
Table 5
Results for Participant 57
Free Writing
Intended Character Correct character
我
1
жњ‹
1
еЏ‹
1
еЏ«
1
зЋ‹
1
еЏ‹
1
д»–
1
ж�Ї
1
дєЊ
еЌЃ
еІЃ
д»–
зљ„
з”џ
ж—Ґ
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
е…«
жњ€
еЌЃ
д№ќ
ж—Ґ
д»–
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
дё­
е›Ѕ
дєє
зЋ‹
еЏ‹
е–њ
1
1
1
1
1
1
ж¬ў
0
Correct radical
Semantic Phonetic
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
Correct stroke order
Semantic Phonetic
0
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
71
зњ‹
1
з”µ
视
д»–
зљ„
家
1
0
1
1
1
жњ‰
е››
еЏЈ
дєє
д»–
з€ё
з€ё
妈
妈
е’Њ
дёЂ
дёЄ
е“Ґ
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
е“Ґ
1
д»–
з€ё
з€ё
ж�Ї
1
0
0
1
еЊ»
з”џ
д»–
妈
妈
ж�Ї
1
1
1
0
0
1
иЂЃ
её€
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
72
Total
62
62
51
47
51
47
53
51
38
28
12
Total correct
Time (minutes)
3:40
Translation
Intended Character Correct character
ж�Ё
1
天
1
е°Џ
1
жќЋ
1
зљ„
з”џ
ж—Ґ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
иЇ·
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
зљ„
дё‰
дёЄ
еђЊ
е­¦
еЋ»
她
зљ„
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Correct radical
Semantic Phonetic
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Correct stroke order
Semantic Phonetic
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
73
家
1
еђѓ
饭
ж™љ
дёЉ
дёѓ
з‚№
д»–
们
еђѓ
ж™љ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
зљ„
家
1
1
дёЌ
大
еЏЇ
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
еѕ€
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
зљ„
з€ё
з€ё
ж�Ї
1
0
0
1
иЂЃ
её€
1
1
д»–
еѕ€
жњ‰
ж„Џ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
74
жЂќ
1
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
зљ„
妈
妈
ж�Ї
1
1
1
1
еЊ»
з”џ
ж�Ё
天
她
еѕ€
еї™
д№ќ
з‚№
她
ж‰Ќ
е›ћ
家
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
еђѓ
饭
дє†
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
зљ„
е“Ґ
1
1
е“Ґ
1
е’Њ
е§ђ
е§ђ
жІЎ
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
75
ењЁ
家
1
1
еђѓ
饭
зЋ‹
жњ‹
е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
зљ„
з€ё
з€ё
妈
妈
дёЂ
иµ·
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
е–ќ
иЊ¶
е’Њ
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
еј е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
е–ќ
еЏЇ
д№ђ
зњ‹
1
1
1
1
з”µ
视
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
76
еј е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
еЌЃ
з‚№
ж‰Ќ
е›ћ
家
Total
137
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
137
108
109
108
109
127
105
104
49
57
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
Total correct
Time (minutes)
10:13
77
Table 6
Results for Participant 34
Free Writing
Intended Character
我
жњ‹
她
ж�Ї
Correct character
0
1
1
0
дё‰
еЌЃ
е››
еІЃ
дє”
жњ€
дё‰
еЌЃ
她
е–њ
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
ж¬ў
еЋ»
и€ћ
и·і
她
жњ‰
е“Ґ
1
1
0
0
1
1
0
е“Ґ
0
е’Њ
е§ђ
е§ђ
0
1
1
Total
25
Correct radical
Semantic
Phonetic
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
Correct stroke order
Semantic
Phonetic
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
25
16
22
16
22
17
12
17
2
2
Total correct
78
Time (minutes)
8:44
Translation
Intended Character
天
жќЋ
Correct character
1
1
е°Џ
з”џ
ж—Ґ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
0
1
1
1
иЇ·
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
е’Њ
зЋ‹
жњ‹
дё‰
е­¦
еђѓ
饭
家
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
з‚№
д»–
们
еђѓ
ж™љ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
家
0
Correct radical
Semantic
Phonetic
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
Correct stroke order
Semantic
Phonetic
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
79
жІЎ
жњ‰
大
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
1
1
0
ж�Ї
0
иЂЃ
её€
1
0
е’Њ
д»–
жњ‰
жЂќ
0
1
1
1
ж„Џ
0
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
妈
妈
天
她
еѕ€
еї™
她
ж™љ
дёЉ
д№ќ
з‚№
家
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
еђѓ
ж™љ
饭
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
80
е“Ґ
0
е“Ґ
0
е’Њ
е§ђ
е§ђ
жІЎ
жњ‰
家
0
1
1
1
1
1
зЋ‹
жњ‹
е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
1
1
0
1
1
зљ„
家
1
1
е–ќ
иЊ¶
е’Њ
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
е’Њ
е°Џ
жќЋ
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
е–ќ
еЏЇ
е’Њ
зњ‹
0
0
0
1
з”µ
е°Џ
�
е°Џ
е’Њ
1
1
0
1
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
1
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
81
зЋ‹
жњ‹
е›ћ
家
1
1
1
1
ж™љ
дёЉ
еЌЃ
з‚№
0
1
1
1
Total
101
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
0
0
101
81
79
81
79
65
71
54
8
18
Total correct
Time (minutes)
29:48
APPENDIX B
Interview Questions
What is your native language?
How long have you been speaking Chinese?
How long have you been listening to Chinese?
How long have you been reading Chinese?
How long have you been writing Chinese?
83
For the following paragraphs, please write as much as you can. If you forget how to
write parts of a character, try to write it to the best of your ability. If you can’t remember
how to write the character at all, guess what that character looks like and write it so that I
know that you are aware a character should be there even if you forgot how to write it.
Tell me about your best friend in Chinese. How old is he/she? When is his/her birthday?
Where is he/she from? What does he/she like to do for fun? What his/her family like?
Does he/she have brothers or sisters? What do his/her parents do for a living?
84
Please translate the following paragraph into Chinese:
Yesterday was Little Li’s birthday. Little Li asked Little Gao, Little Zhang, and Wang
Peng’s three classmates to go to her house to eat. They ate dinner at 7:00 pm. Little Li’s
house isn’t big, but it is beautiful. Little Li’s father is a teacher and he is very interesting.
Little Li’s mother is a doctor. Yesterday, she was very busy. She finally came home and
ate dinner at 9:00 pm. Little Li’s older brother and older sister did not eat at home.
Wang Peng and Little Li’s parents drank tea and chatted together. Little Gao, Little
Zhang, and Little Li drank cola and watched television. Little Gao, Little Zhang, and
Wang Peng finally went home at 10:00 pm.
Document
Category
Education
Views
122
File Size
1 129 KB
Tags
1/--pages
Report inappropriate content