Using a Radical-Derived Character E-Learning Platform to Increase Knowledge of Chinese Characters
KeywordsChinese as a Foreign Language (CFL)
Chinese Orthographic Awareness
Radical-Derived Character Instructional Method
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AbstractThe present study is aimed at investigating the effect of a radical-derived Chinese character teaching strategy on enhancing Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) learners’ Chinese orthographic awareness. An e-learning teaching platform, based on statistical data from the Chinese Orthography Database Explorer (Chen, Chang, L.Y., Chou, Sung, & Chang, K.E., 2011), was established and used as an auxiliary teaching tool. A nonequivalent pretest-posttest quasi-experiment was conducted, with 129 Chinese-American CFL learners as participants (69 people in the experimental group and 60 people in the comparison group), to examine the effectiveness of the e-learning platform. After a three-week course—involving instruction on Chinese orthographic knowledge and at least seven phonetic/semantic radicals and their derivative characters per week—the experimental group performed significantly better than the comparison group on a phonetic radical awareness test, a semantic radical awareness test, as well as an orthography knowledge test.