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The Roles of Pinyin Skill in English-Chinese Biliteracy Learning: Evidence From Chinese Immersion Learners

Author: Chan Lü

Foreign Language Annals 50(2): 306-322.

Abstract

Pinyin is a sound-annotating system for Chinese characters using Roman letters. Teaching and learning Pinyin has been an important educational practice in Mainland China for native Chinese children, and it is also typically taught to beginning learners of Chinese as a foreign/second language in tertiary-level classrooms. However, whether it should be taught to nonnative children who are studying Chinese as a second language has been controversial. This study examined the roles of Pinyin skill in Chinese-English biliteracy learning among a group of second-grade learners in a Chinese immersion program across one academic year and found that Pinyin facilitates subsequent Chinese word reading at no cost to students’ English literacy learning. Results are discussed in the context of learning Chinese as a nonnative language among young learners in school settings. Implications for teaching Chinese reading, curriculum, and material design, especially for Chinese immersion programs, are discussed.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/flan.12269/full

 

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Title: Situation-bound utterances in Chinese

Author: Istvan Kecskes

Source: East Asian Pragmatics, 2016, 107-126. 

Abstract: This article argues that, when analysing formulaic language use in Chinese, besides the three main groups, proverbs (yànyǔ 谚语), idioms (chéngyǔ 成语), and guànyòngyǔ 惯用语 compounds, we need to distinguish and pay special attention to a fourth category: situation-bound utterances (qíngjìng zhuānyòngyǔ 情境专用语). Situation-bound utterances (SBUs) constitute a unique group within idiomatic expressions because their use is tied to particular situations. SBUs fulfil social needs in conversation. People know that if they use these prefabricated expressions they are safe: nobody will misunderstand them because these phrases usually mean the same to most speakers in a speech community. The article aims to introduce SBUs as a separate category among Chinese formulaic expressions, discuss its relationship to yànyǔ, chéngyǔ, and guànyòngyǔ compounds, explain why it is important to handle it as a separate lexical category, and highlight the unique nature and use of SBUs. However, it is not the goal of the article to give a full and detailed description of the new category, which will need further research.

keywords: formulaic language, yànyǔ, chéngyǔ, guànyòngyǔ compounds, situation-bound utterances (qíngjìng zhuānyòngy

 

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Title: Simulating Mandarin tone acquisition by CSL learners

Author: Mo CHEN  

Abstract: A growing tree-structured self-organizing feature map network was developed to simulate the acquisition of Mandarin tones by native English speakers. This network has a dynamic network construction and capacity that is better than the traditional Kohonen self-organizing feature map. This network also more effectively preserves the global topology mapping than early dynamic tree-like maps.Simulations of the acquisition of Mandarin tones are consistent with experimental results. These show the dynamic developmental process of Mandarin tones. The results show that self-organization is an important mechanism for tone emergence and that tone feature teaching is important for Mandarin tone-teaching strategies. 

Key words: non-tone language; Mandarin tone; computer simulation; growing tree-structured self-organizing feature map 

Source: Journal of Tsinghua University (Sci & Tech), 2011, 51(9), 1201-1204. 


标题:汉语作为第二语言学习者的声调认知发展模拟

作者:陈默

摘要:该文提出了一个动态的生长型树型自组织特征映射网络,用以模拟英语母语者汉语声调的认知发展。该网络既克服了传统的Kohonen 自组织特征映射网络的固定网络结构限制以及容量有限性,又克服了其他类似动态网络的较弱的拓扑映射特性,可以较好地模拟英语母语者汉语声调认知的发展。模拟结果跟实验结果呈现出非常好的一致性,既证明了行为实验中汉语声调的动态发展过程,也为汉语声调认知的机制研究提供了机理上的解释。

关键词:无声调语言;汉语声调;计算机模拟;生长型树形结构自组织特征映射

来源:清华大学学报(自然科学版)2011年第51卷第9期,1201-1204页。

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Title: Input processing of Chinese by ab initio learners

Authors: Zhaohong Han, Zehua Liu

Abstract:

We report on a study of first-exposure learners with different first languages (L1s: English, Japanese) to examine their ability to process input for form and meaning. We used a rich set of tasks to tap respectively into processing, comprehension, imitation, and working memory. We show that there are advantages to having a first language (L1) that brings familiarity with the target language. We also show that when presented with natural auditory input, learners are able to process form only minimally. These findings are inconsistent with other studies that suggest that segmentation is easy and rapid. Additionally, we show that such learners comprehend meaning by relying on ‘top-down’ strategies. These findings challenge some of the claims on Input Processing theory.

Source: Second Language Research, 2013, 29(2), 145-164.

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Title: Natural or Artificial: Is the Route of L2 Development Teachable?

Author: Xian Zhang

           James P. Lantolf

Abstract: The current study was designed to assess the central claim of the Teachability Hypothesis (TH), a corollary of general Processability Theory (PT), which predicts instruction cannot alter posited universal, hierarchically organized psycholinguistic constraints behind PT's developmental sequences. We employed an interventional design, which adhered to instructional procedures of Systemic Theoretical Instruction, and we taught four university learners at Stage 2 (subject-verb-object) Chinese topicalization for Stage 4 (object-first, e.g., Pizza tā yě chī le, Pizza 他 也 吃了, ‘Pizza he also ate’). We believe the findings show that, under the instructional conditions utilized in the study, the predictions of TH do not hold. We conclude it is possible to artificially construct a developmental route different from the one predicted by natural developmental sequences, in agreement with the claims of Vygotsky's developmental education.

Keywords: teachability hypothesis;processability theory;sociocultural theory;natural sequence;concept-based instruction

Source: Language Learning, 2015, 65(1): 152-180. 

 

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