Theme-Based Teaching: A Study on the Application of Origami Activities in the Chinese Lesson for Non-Chinese Speaking Students in Hong Kong

LEE, Kit-fong
TAI, Chung-pui
YUNG, Wan-shan

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2018; Issue No. 4; p.69 - 93

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

In Hong Kong, Non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students often face learning problems concerning with the choice of words and writing. It is presumably due to the complexity of orthographic representation in Chinese, such as the large number of strokes in Chinese characters, the complicated radical components, and the wide range of combination of words and phrases.
Origami is the art of paper folding, which is sometimes used in teaching practices. Some believed that there is a link between origami and Chinese writing, such that a paper has to be folded in steps in order to transform into a sculpture and a Chinese character has to be written in sequence.
This study aims to analyze the effectiveness of origami in theme-based teaching. A Chinese teacher and fifteen NCS students were invited to participate in the study. Using origami in the lessons, the teachers introduced the sequence of writing strokes and the parts of a Chinese character (e.g. initials and components) to students. The findings of this paper showed that incorporating origami into theme-based teaching in Chinese classes did not only make the students participate more in classroom activities, but also fostered their motivation in writing Chinese characters.

learning motivation origami activity theme-based teaching traditional culture


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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