The Challenge of First and Second-Language Literacy Development in Chinese Michael Everson &  Jerry Packard
First-language Literacy Development in Chinese Jerry Packard East Asian Languages & Cultures University of Illinois
Why Literacy Development in Chinese Children? <ul><li>K-6 is the best time to start! </li></ul><ul><li>kids show us the wa...
Kids take advantage of character structure <ul><li>the ‘meaning’ of a character is on the  left .   清 </li></ul><ul><li>t...
Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul>meaning =  water
Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side...
Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side...
Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side...
Knowing the  phonetic  helps… <ul><li>Task – children tested on pronunciation of 60 phonetic-compound characters. </li></u...
Knowing the  semantic  helps… <ul><li>Task – select the proper character  </li></ul><ul><li>Result – children were better ...
Knowing  character   structure  helps… <ul><li>Task – copy characters and generate characters from memory  </li></ul><ul><...
Knowing  word morphology  helps… <ul><li>Task – vocabulary, reading comprehension and other literacy measures </li></ul><u...
What helps kids’ literacy…? <ul><li>Knowing character meaning and sound </li></ul><ul><ul><li>kids given meaning & sound t...
Conclude <ul><li>Chinese writing is highly systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Exploiting the systematic aspect of characters pro...
Issues in Second-Language Chinese Literacy Development: The Case of Post-Secondary Learners Michael E. Everson College of ...
Issues in Learning Chinese <ul><li>Chinese is a “Category IV” language </li></ul><ul><li>Students have an imperfect knowle...
Issues in Learning Chinese <ul><li>Student  “ time on task ”  for reading and writing is limited </li></ul><ul><li>Student...
Research into Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) Literacy   <ul><li>Generally has employed quantitative research methodol...
Topics of Interest in CFL Research <ul><li>Development of Orthographic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Orthographic Awareness ...
Some Initial Research Findings about Orthographic Awareness <ul><li>Develops quickly but at a highly variable rate among b...
Research Findings <ul><li>Intermediate learners still struggle with vocabulary and other orthographic display issues (such...
Research Findings <ul><li>Beginning learners can infer the  meanings of unfamiliar characters using their knowledge of sem...
What Teachers Must Learn to Consider <ul><li>Teachers must understand the learners, their literacy experiences, their cult...
Specifics <ul><li>Students coming from a first language alphabetic literacy background </li></ul><ul><li>--The importance ...
Specifics <ul><li>The Role of Background Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Reading for Different Purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Deve...
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Everson Packard Second Language Literacy Development

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Everson Packard Second Language Literacy Development

  1. 1. The Challenge of First and Second-Language Literacy Development in Chinese Michael Everson & Jerry Packard
  2. 2. First-language Literacy Development in Chinese Jerry Packard East Asian Languages & Cultures University of Illinois
  3. 3. Why Literacy Development in Chinese Children? <ul><li>K-6 is the best time to start! </li></ul><ul><li>kids show us the way </li></ul><ul><li>if it works for kids, it’ll probably work for adults </li></ul><ul><li>let’s not ‘re-invent the wheel’ </li></ul><ul><li>let’s avoid ‘swimming upstream’ </li></ul>
  4. 4. Kids take advantage of character structure <ul><li>the ‘meaning’ of a character is on the left .  清 </li></ul><ul><li>the ‘sound’ of a character is on the right . 清  </li></ul><ul><li>when this is pointed out to children, they learn characters better ! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul>meaning = water
  6. 6. Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side) part is pronounced “.. qing..” </li></ul>pronunciation = “… qing …” meaning = water
  7. 7. Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side) part is pronounced “.. qing..” </li></ul><ul><li>when combined, they form a new character, pronounced “.. qing..” , that means ‘clear’ </li></ul>meaning = water pronunciation = “… qing …”
  8. 8. Chinese Character Structure <ul><li>the semantic (left-side) part means ‘water’ </li></ul><ul><li>the phonetic (right-side) part is pronounced “.. qing..” </li></ul><ul><li>when combined, they form a new character, pronounced “.. qing..” , that means ‘clear’ </li></ul>“ qing” ‘ clear’
  9. 9. Knowing the phonetic helps… <ul><li>Task – children tested on pronunciation of 60 phonetic-compound characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Result – children do better if character is regular ( 清 vs. 猜 ), and if the phonetic is free rather than bound ( 清 vs. 妇 ) . </li></ul><ul><li>Implication – children read better if character pronunciation is more accessible </li></ul>Reference... Shu, H., Anderson, R. C., & Wu, N. (2000). Phonetic awareness: knowledge of orthography-phonology relationships in the character acquisition of Chinese children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 , 56-62.
  10. 10. Knowing the semantic helps… <ul><li>Task – select the proper character </li></ul><ul><li>Result – children were better able to correctly select unfamiliar characters when they knew the semantic radical . </li></ul><ul><li>Implication – children read better if they know the semantic radical </li></ul>Reference... Shu, H. & Anderson, R. (1997). Role of radical awareness in the character and word acquisition of Chinese children. Reading Research Quarterly, 32 , 78-89
  11. 11. Knowing character structure helps… <ul><li>Task – copy characters and generate characters from memory </li></ul><ul><li>Result – children were better able to copy and generate characters when trained in character structure . </li></ul><ul><li>Implication – children’s Chinese writing develops more quickly if they know character structure </li></ul>Reference... Packard, Chen, Li, Wu, Gaffney, Li and Anderson (2006). Explicit instruction in orthographic structure and word morphology helps Chinese children learn to write characters . Reading and Writing 19.5, 457-487 .
  12. 12. Knowing word morphology helps… <ul><li>Task – vocabulary, reading comprehension and other literacy measures </li></ul><ul><li>Result – morphological instruction improved children’s performance on literacy measures </li></ul><ul><li>Implication – children’s literacy in Chinese develops more quickly if they know word structure </li></ul>Reference... Wu, Anderson, Li, Wu, Li, Zhang, Zheng, Zhu, Shu, Jiang, Chen, Wang, Yin, He, Packard and Gaffney. (2009). Morphological Awareness and Chinese Children’s Literacy Development. Scientific Studies of Reading, 13(1), 26–52
  13. 13. What helps kids’ literacy…? <ul><li>Knowing character meaning and sound </li></ul><ul><ul><li>kids given meaning & sound training read better! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kids given meaning & sound training write better! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Knowing character structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>there is a causal connection between insight into character structure and growth in literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Metalinguistic Awareness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to manipulate sounds ( phonological awareness ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to manipulate word parts ( morphological awareness ) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Conclude <ul><li>Chinese writing is highly systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Exploiting the systematic aspect of characters promotes Chinese literacy development </li></ul><ul><li>This may be transferable to adult learners of Chinese </li></ul>
  15. 15. Issues in Second-Language Chinese Literacy Development: The Case of Post-Secondary Learners Michael E. Everson College of Education The University of Iowa National Chinese Language Conference, 2009
  16. 16. Issues in Learning Chinese <ul><li>Chinese is a “Category IV” language </li></ul><ul><li>Students have an imperfect knowledge of the language that they are trying to learn to read and write </li></ul><ul><li>American students’ first language employs an alphabetically-based system, while Chinese does not </li></ul><ul><li>Students have limited exposure to “environmental print” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Issues in Learning Chinese <ul><li>Student “ time on task ” for reading and writing is limited </li></ul><ul><li>Student (and teacher!) expectations about their progress may be unreasonable </li></ul><ul><li>The use of romanization (pinyin) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Research into Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) Literacy <ul><li>Generally has employed quantitative research methodologies </li></ul><ul><li>Has focused on university students of Chinese </li></ul><ul><li>Often has reduced numbers of research subjects for higher proficiency levels, and generally larger numbers for lower levels </li></ul><ul><li>Has focused to a great extent on character recognition/learning processes and learner strategies </li></ul>
  19. 19. Topics of Interest in CFL Research <ul><li>Development of Orthographic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Orthographic Awareness is defined as the awareness of and ability to use the orthographic structure of Chinese characters (i.e. their semantic and phonetic elements) as aids in word recognition and reading </li></ul>
  20. 20. Some Initial Research Findings about Orthographic Awareness <ul><li>Develops quickly but at a highly variable rate among beginning learners; </li></ul><ul><li>Seems to correlate with character identification and production ability among learners at different proficiency levels; </li></ul><ul><li>Proficiency and pedagogical intervention seem to impact upon orthographic awareness; </li></ul><ul><li>May not be just “nice to know” information, but a foundation of CFL reading; </li></ul><ul><li>Seems to be actively used by advanced learners to solve word identification problems </li></ul>
  21. 21. Research Findings <ul><li>Intermediate learners still struggle with vocabulary and other orthographic display issues (such as word groupings not being apparent in Chinese text) though attempt to use phonetic and semantic elements to their advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Use of rote memorization techniques seems to be the least productive, longterm memorization strategy for character acquisition. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Research Findings <ul><li>Beginning learners can infer the meanings of unfamiliar characters using their knowledge of semantic radicals though the radical must be prominent; inferring pronunciation from the semantic radicals, however, is a more complicated task. </li></ul><ul><li>Among beginning learners, there is a strong relationship between knowing how to pronounce a character and knowing what it means. </li></ul>
  23. 23. What Teachers Must Learn to Consider <ul><li>Teachers must understand the learners, their literacy experiences, their cultural backgrounds, and the educational settings in which teaching and learning will occur </li></ul>
  24. 24. Specifics <ul><li>Students coming from a first language alphabetic literacy background </li></ul><ul><li>--The importance of pinyin </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of teaching the principles of Chinese orthography </li></ul><ul><li>Reading as a Language Activity </li></ul><ul><li>The Role of Practice and Extensive Reading </li></ul><ul><li>--The Issue of Authentic Materials </li></ul>
  25. 25. Specifics <ul><li>The Role of Background Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Reading for Different Purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Developing Strategic Reading </li></ul><ul><li>The Role of Writing in the CFL Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>The Use of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Student Developmental Level </li></ul><ul><li>Extended Sequences of Study and Study Abroad </li></ul>
  26. 26. Questions?

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