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Learning to write Chinese by hand:

Learning to write Chinese by hand:. Benefits, side effects and drawbacks of writing by hand and by computer seen from a didactic perspective. Claire Smulders, M.A. (ICLON) ICLON, Leiden University. SLO, Learning to write Chinese by hand, Amsterdam. 8 th June 2012. Several topics.

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Learning to write Chinese by hand:

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  1. Learning to write Chinese by hand: Benefits, side effects and drawbacks of writing by hand and by computer seen from a didactic perspective Claire Smulders, M.A. (ICLON) ICLON, Leiden University SLO, Learning to write Chinese by hand, Amsterdam 8th June 2012

  2. Several topics • Objectives of the final examination • Consequences for the education programme • Correlation between Writing and Reading • Which strategy to follow • Writing as a component of Culture education

  3. Objectives of the final examination • A2 Objectives and can-do statements • Focus on Productive writing as a reflection of everyday writing practice • Genre: familiar genre and personal essay writing. No argumentative essays yet. • Criteria: correct use of characters, vocabulary and grammar, content, coherence and style of writing

  4. Consequences for the Education Program • Objectives education program serve the objectives of the final examination and of everyday life • 480 hours devided over 4 skills + culture =>± 95 hours spread over 3-5 years of education • Use time efficiently

  5. Some hard facts pleading for the use of computers • Time spent on practicing by hand vs production benefit • Precious time to be spent on other skills: speaking, listening and writing • Social and professional situations seldom require an immediate demonstration of handwriting skills • Electronic writing both on screen and print has taken over most of professional and personal correspondence • Not being able to stand up to the standards of the traditional education program is a reason to give up.

  6. Dissertation of Hana Kang at Ohio State University (2011) The Influence of Writing Modes (hand/PC) on • Clarity of writing • Organization of writing at a Beginner’s level and Intermediate level

  7. Shows: • Beginners performed better with PC than by hand in clarity (character errors, vocabulary, grammar)/No difference for Intermediate (see also Xu and Jen 2000) • Beginners as well as Intermediate performed better by hand than by PC in organization (coherence, content, smooth transitions of sentences, style of writing) • Beginners no significant difference in speed /big difference for Intermediate

  8. Conclusion of the study • Each mode has its own strengths and weaknesses. • No preference of one mode over the other • Instead: hybrid mode

  9. But most important… • Writing Chinese characters with computers enhances the integration of writing with the other language skills: listening, speaking and READING. • Focus on Reading = Character Recognition

  10. However …

  11. Correlation Writing-Reading Didactics: awareness of importance • Influencing Long Term Memory • Reducing the Overload of the Working Memory • Positive effect of activating as many parts as possible in the brain (reuring in de hersenen)

  12. Research results show that • from a neuroscience perspective , the skill of logographic handwriting is associated with reading characters. • Neuro-imaging studies (MRI): double function of the pre-motoric cortex • Finger movement stroke counting lightens neural load in recognition of characters. • Engaging in motoric actions is one of the mechanisms that serve and mediate in the formation of long term memory of Chinese characters. • Writing by hand establishes a refinement of visual spatial information

  13. M.Brysbaert (2006): Informatie verwerven in Psychologie(pp.273-278), Academic Press Gent mentions Paivio, Bower, Wilton, Engelkamp, Seiler, Scharps, Craik, Tulvig: How to optimize the process of generating information: Use a cognitive strategy whereby information is recoded and organized: 1. verbal code 2. sensoric code 3. motoric code

  14. The memory is a byproduct of the perception of stimuli. The level on which a stimulus is perceived determines the chance that information is retained on a long term. One will retain information better if one is actively involved in generating the stimuli (generating effect)

  15. Dual Coding Theory + Theory of Enactment

  16. Technique of Meaningful memorization: • The learning of character formation • Pictogram/ideogram/associative compound character/phono-semantic character (80%) • Entrance = Radical (semantic component)

  17. Which strategy to follow • Use 95 hours most efficiently • From the beginning a strong emphasis on • standard and accurate pronunciation • Pinyin Romanization system: transfer from listening to pronunciation and writing and vice versa • Start education in Word Processing immediately • Start productive writing exercises immediately (e.g.) • Postpone starting point of learning to write by hand by three months • Pay attention to the formation of writing: meaningful memorization.

  18. Learn to write all 18 basic strokes and all 216 radicals by hand. First year: all 18 basic strokes and the 108 most frequently used radicals = Iconic strategy (Side effect: use of dictionary) • Learn to write only those characters which are functional in the light of productive writing by hand at the learning stage the student is in. = Functional writing strategy

  19. Cultural value of writing by hand Hegemony of writing by hand = “writeracy” High valuation of good calligraphy in Chinese culture throughout history and around the world. Being able to write by hand stands for literacy, with all its social implications.

  20. Student Motivation = Pedagogy Motivation = Fuel for Working Attitude • What is writing according to students • What enticed them to start studying Chinese in the first place?

  21. Learning to write Chinese by hand: a didactically useful practice

  22. “Tell me, I will forget; show me, I will remember; involve me, I will understand” 不闻不若闻之,闻之不若见之,见之不若知之,知之不若行之;学至于行之而止矣

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