The comprehensive simplification reform sanctioned by the government of People’s Republic of China in 1950s resulted in the co-existence of two scripts of Chinese, with the traditional one mandated and used in Taiwan and Hong Kong and the simplified one in Mainland China. As the cross-trait relation began to thaw, there was an increasing need, for users of one script, to acquire literacy of the other script. In the Chinese language classroom, teachers debated as to which script is the better one for students to acquire, whether the other script should be taught and how. The debates also carried to the L2 Chinese classroom. Unfortunately, most debates were based on subjective impressions and political positions, rather than on objective evidence. In a previous study, Chen and Lin (2015) asked a group of Taiwan high school students to identify simplified characters, and a group of Guangdong high school students to identify traditional characters. They found an overall accuracy rate of 85% for both groups of students. Additionally, when the participants were given the correct answer right after each failed character, it took the Taiwan students an average of 2.4 rounds and the Guangdong students an average of 1.8 rounds of practice to master all the characters. The results show that habitual users of one script can expect a substantial amount of transfer when they attempt to learn the other script, and that it takes no big effort to learn and master the other script. The study was based on native speakers of Chinese with extensive learning of and exposure to one script. The purpose of the present study is to examine the transfer-of-learning effect for learners of Chinese as a foreign/second language, how the effect varies according to the learners’ proficiency in reading one script, and whether a simple feedback will suffice to learn and master the other script. The findings of the study can help resolve the controversy over which script is best to learn, and importantly, offer an effective way of achieving bi-script literacy for all learners of Chinese.
|Effective start/end date||2018/08/01 → 2019/10/31|
- Character instruction
- traditional character
- simplified character
- transfer of learning
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