A SAGE Journal


Editor's words 2022-1

Zhu Jianjun

发布时间:2022-08-24    点击次数:


Chinese character teaching is one of the fundamental parts in teaching Chinese as a second language. However, teaching practice has shown that cognition of characters is a common difficulty in Chinese language learning. For the learners that are not of the Sinosphere, Chinese character learning could even be a burden. Chinese character teaching, in a manner of speaking, has become the bottleneck in the development of teaching Chinese as a second language. The five papers in this volume will discuss about Chinese character teaching from different angles.

Yang’s paper investigates teenage beginners’ perceptions of learning Chinese characters and their perceived effective strategies for learning in a British secondary school. Sixteen beginners learning Chinese as a second language from 12 to 16 years old participated in the study. Results indicate that both memory and cognitive strategies were useful for character learning from learners’ perspectives.

Deng & Hu’s paper investigates the handwriting errors by Chinese as a foreign language learners of eight countries and three language families, including wrongly written characters and misused characters, with interlanguage corpora. This research is instructive in the teaching of Chinese character handwriting. It points out the problems and countermeasures of online Chinese character handwriting courses during the pandemic and thus contributes advice to online Chinese character teaching during the long-term future.

Wang & An’s paper investigated the characteristics of good Chinese second language readers by observing their eye-movement patterns in reading articles manipulated to highlight different linguistic features. Results showed that good readers should be defined as both accurate and fast readers, although the two traits did not correlate with each other. Both reading universals and writing system specific features were found to be effective in explaining Chinese as a second language reading processes.

Liu & Song’s paper aims to study the research papers on Chinese character teaching in the field of International Chinese Language Education in the past 15 years. A comprehensive survey of 205 journal papers and theses is conducted from the perspectives of types of researches, types of learners and research topics, based on which the research trends and the existing problems in this field are analyzed, and corresponding suggestions are made.

Zhu & Yang’s paper aims to study through a questionnaire survey the needs of learners of Chinese as a second language for learning traditional Chinese characters. To achieve the aim, analysis was conducted from various perspectives such as the learners’ background, Chinese proficiency, Chinese instruction, exposure to traditional Chinese characters and attitudes towards traditional Chinese characters. Factors that influenced the participants’ learning needs and motivations were analyzed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.

Research on Chinese character teaching has gained fruitful achievements, but there is still a long way to go to effectively solve the difficulties in Chinese character learning. Since Chinese characters are imbedded with Chinese culture, promoting Chinese characters should be an indispensable part in the attempt of Chinese culture “going out”. So, in the new era that features modernization, internalization and globalization, scholars in different fields have to make unremitting efforts to explore and discuss how to effectively interpret and teach Chinese characters.

Sincere thanks are due to the editorial committee for publishing the papers above. We hope that more and more scholars join us in Chinese character teaching and research, and promote its development together.


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