Chinese radicals in spaced repetition systems : a pilot study on the acquisition of Chinese characters by students learning Chinese as a foreign language

De la Rouviere, Jeremiah Daneil (2013-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the effect on learning Chinese characters for learners of Chinese as foreign language through implementing the unique properties of the Chinese script in a prototype spaced repetition system. Both Chinese radicals and the spacing effect have the potential to positively influence the recall ability of students in learning Chinese characters, however the interaction between the spacing effect and Chinese radicals in spaced repetition system, such as Anki and Mnemosyne, had not been tested. An experimental spaced repetition system prototype was designed and developed to investigate these interactions. Two groups of students learning Chinese as a foreign language at the University of Stellenbosch studied the same list of Chinese characters in which there were both massed and spaced characters present. One group had additional information on Chinese radicals on the flashcard. The students were given an immediate post-test to test their recall of the meaning and pronunciation of the Chinese characters. The results showed a positive trend for the spacing effect in which students had higher scores for spaced characters, but the recall ability between the two groups of students did not change regardless of whether there was information on Chinese radicals or not. The results were surprising considering the potential positive impact of Chinese radicals on recall. The thesis concludes that the presentation of information on Chinese radicals in a spaced repetition system does not necessarily improve the recall ability of the students. The impact of explicit instruction on the role of Chinese radicals in Chinese characters and the ability of the student to apply this knowledge should be considered for future research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die huidige tesis ondersoek die leer van Chinese karakters deur leerders van Chinees as ‘n vreemde taal deur die unieke eienskappe van die Chinese skrif in ‘n prototipe gespasieërde herhalings sisteem te implementeer. Beide Chinese radikale en die spasiërings effek kan potensieël 'n positiewe invloed hê in die vermoë van studente om Chinese karakters te onthou, maar die interaksie tussen die spasiërings effek en Chinese radikale in gespasieërde herhalings sisteme, soos Anki en Mnemosyne, was tot dusver onbekend. ‘n Eksperimentele gespasieërde herhalings sisteem prototipe was geskep om hierdie interaksie te ondersoek. Twee groepe studente van Chinees as vreemde taal by die Universiteit van Stellenbosch het dieselfde lys karakters gestudeer, waaronder gespasieërde en nie-gespasieërde karakters tuis was. Die twee groepe het verskil deurdat een groep ekstra informasie oor Chinese radikale gehad het op die voorkant van 'n flitskaart. Die studente het dadelik daarna ‘n toets ontvang waar hul die betekenis en uitspraak van die Chinese karakters moes onthou. Die resultate het ‘n positiewe neiging getoon vir die spasiërings effek waar studente hoër punte ontvang het vir gespasieërde karakters, maar die vermoë om die karakters te onthou het nie verskil tussen die twee groepe nie. Die resultate was ‘n verassing juis omdat daar ‘n potensieël positiewe invloed kan onstaan deur die impak van Chinese radikale. Die tesis het gevind dat slegs om informasie oor Chinese radikale te wys in ‘n gespasieërde herhalings sisteem nie noodwendig die vermoë van die student om Chinese karakters te onthou verbeter nie. Die impak van eksplisiete instruksie oor die rol wat Chinese radikale in Chinese karakters speel en die vermoë van die student om hierdie kennis toe te pas hoort verder ondersoek te word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80325
This item appears in the following collections: