Item Details

Effects of delaying character instruction in a Chinese as a foreign language classroom on affective outcomes

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2016)

Journal: Researching and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/rtcfl.37076


This study surveyed 58 sixth grade students in four different Chinese as a second language classrooms about their anxiety, self-efficacy and attitudes towards learning Chinese as a foreign language when taught using three different approaches: Pinyin only instruction (POI), character only instruction (COI) and character instruction with Pinyin located above the character (PCI). All participants completed a fivepoint Likert scale battery of 38 affective items and six open-ended questions. Our findings indicate that students in the POI condition reported significantly lower anxiety levels than participants in the COI condition. Our findings suggest that POI has potential benefits for learners in that it lowers anxiety while providing similar levels of motivation as COI and PCI.

Author: Jesse Walker, Frederick Poole

View Full Text

References :

Allen, J. R. (2008). Why learning to write Chinese is a waste of time: A modest proposal. Foreign Language Annals, 41(2), 237-251.                                                                                    

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Chung, K. K. (2002). Effective use of Hanyu pinyin and English translations as extra stimulus prompts on learning Chinese characters. Educational Psychology, 22(2), 149-164.

Clement, R., Dornyei, Z., & Noels, K. A. (1994). Motivation, self-confidence, and group cohesion in the foreign language classroom. Language Learning, 44(3), 417-448.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed., p. 174).    Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Cohen, J., Miles, J., & Shevlin, M. (2001). Applying regression and correlation: A guide for           students and researchers (p. 272). London: Sage.

Dörnyei, Z. (1990). Analysis of motivation components in foreign language learning. World          Congress of Applied Linguists. Thessaloniki, Greece.

Dörnyei, Z. (1994). Motivation and motivating in the foreign language classroom. The Modern     Language Journal78(3), 273-284.

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). New themes and approaches in second language motivation research. Annual             Review of Applied Linguistics(21), 43-59.

Eccles, J. S., Adler, T. F., Futterman, R., Goff, S. B., Kaczala, C. M., Meece, J. L., & Midgley, C. (1983). Expectancies, values, and academic behaviors. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motivation (pp. 74-146). San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.

Everson, M. E. (1988). Speed and comprehension in reading Chinese: Romanizaiton vs. characters. Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association, 23(2), 1-15.

Everson, M. E. (1994). Toward a process view of teaching reading in the second language            Chinese curriculum. Theory into Practice, 33(1), 4-9.

Fan, K. Y., Gao, J. Y., & Ao, X. P. (1984). Pronunciation principles of the Chinese character and             alphabetic writing scripts. Chinese Character Reform, 3, 23-37. (In Chinese)

Feldman, L. B., & Siok, W. W. (1999). Semantic radicals in phonetic compounds: Implications     for visual character recognition in Chinese. In J. Wang, A. W. Inhoff, H.-C. Chen, J.             Wang, A. W. Inhoff, & H.-C. Chen (Eds.), Reading Chinese script: A cognitive analysis            (pp. 19-35). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Eurlbaum Associates.

Gardner, R. C., & Smythe, P. C. (1981). On the development of the attitude/motivation test         battery. Canadian Modern Language Review, 37(3), 510-525. 

Horwitz, E. K., Horwitz, M. B., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. The        Modern Language Journal, 70(2), 125-132.                  

Jian Dong, W., & Soransataporn, S. (2012). A study of self-efficacy of Chinese students in          English study. PSAKU International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 1(1), 1-18.

Jordan, D. (1971). Guide to Romanization of Chinese. Taipei: Mei Ya Publications Inc.

Kleinginna, P., Jr., & Kleinginna A. (1981). A categorized list of motivation definitions, with       suggestions for a consensual definition. Motivation and Emotion, 5, 263-291.

Knell, E., & West, H. I. N. (2017). To Delay or Not to Delay: The Timing of Chinese Character    Instruction for Secondary Learners. Foreign Language Annals, 50(3), 519-532.  

Krashen, S. (2017). Early vs. Delayed Introduction of Chinese Characters in Beginning Mandarin Classes: Is the “Early Advantage” Due to More Instructional Hours?. Foreign Language Annals50(4), 829-830.

Lee, C. H. & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Effectiveness of different pinyin presentation formats in learning Chinese characters: A cognitive load perspective. Langauge Learning, 61(4), 1099-1118.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2006). How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ling, V. (2005, August). Studies on L2 acquisition of the Chinese script published in America.       Paper presented at the International and Interdisciplinary Conference, University of        Mainz in Germersheim, Germany.

Liu, I. (1983). The learning of characters: A conceptual approach. Journal of the Chinese   Language Teachers Association, 18(2), 65-76.

Ma, Y., & Li, X. (2007). Easy steps to Chinese. Beijing: Bejining Language and Culture University Press.

MacIntyre, P. D. (1995). How does anxiety affect second language learning? A reply to Sparks    and Ganschow. Modern Language Journal, 79(1), 90-99.  

Packard, J. L. (1990). Effects of time lag in the introduction of characters into the Chinese           language curriculum. The Modern Language Journal, 74(2), 167-175.   

Author (2015). Three approaches to beginning Chinese instruction and their           effects on oral development and character recognition. Eurasian Journal of Applied         Linguistics, 1(1), 59-75.

Ray, B. & Seely, C. (2012). Fluency through TPR storytelling: Achieving real language     acquisition in school. Command Performance Language Institute

Raoofi, S., Tan, B.H. and Chan, S.H. (2012). Self-efficacy in second/foreign language learning contexts. English Language Teaching, 5(11), 60-73.

Shen, H. H. (2005). Linguistic complexity and beginning-level L2 Chinese reading. Journal Chinese Language Teachers Association, 40(3), 1.

VanPatten, B., & Williams, J. (2015). Theories in second language acquisition: An introduction                 (2nd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis Group.

Walker, G. (1984). "Literacy" and "reading" in a Chinese language program. Journal of the            Chinese Language Teachers Association, 19(1), 67-84.

Wang, H., Chang, B. R., Li, Y. S., Lin, L. H., Liu, J., & Sun, Y. L. (1986). Xiandai Hanyu Pinlu             Cidian [Dictionary of the frequency of vocabulary in modern Chinese], Beijing, China:                 Beijing Language Institute Press.

Ye, L. (2013). Shall we delay teaching characters in teaching Chinese as a foreign language?         Foreign Language Annals, 46(4), 610-627.

Young, D. J. (1990). An investigation of students' perspectives on anxiety and speaking. Foreign             Language Annals, 23(6), 539-553.

Zhao, A., Guo, Y., & Dynia, J. (2013). Foreign language reading anxiety: Chinese as a foreign                  language in the United States. The Modern Language Journal97(3), 764-778.