The Instruction of Chinese Characters and Chinese Language

CHOU, Chih-p’ing

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2019; Issue No. 6; p.41 - 64

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

In terms of teaching Chinese as a Second Language, Chinese characters are an integral part of learning Chinese, but Chinese character teaching is by no means a major part of Chinese curriculum. Chinese character teaching serves the teaching of Chinese. The relationship between language and text is not only sequential but also primary-supplementary.

Many Chinese teachers' understanding of “writing” in the four skills of “speaking, listening, reading, writing” still remains at the stage of writing Chinese characters by “holding the pen”. In reality, due to great strides in modern technology, the skill of “handwriting” has gradually been replaced by putting finger to keyboard. In other words, “typing” has replaced “handwriting”. This trend is not unique to Chinese; all languages are undergoing a transition from “handwriting” to typing. With this change, “handwriting” is no longer a prerequisite for “composition”.

Chinese character Chinese language instruction language reform character-based language instruction pronouncetion-based language instruction


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

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