Teaching Both Simplified and Traditional Characters to Learners of Chinese as L2

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.13.2.39-57

Keywords:

teaching Chinese as L2, traditional and simplified characters, reading priorities, reading comprehension

Abstract

In the acquisition of Chinese as a second language, learning Chinese characters is an essential part of the learning process. There are various approaches to how and when Chinese characters should be introduced. Some scholars claim simplified characters should be given priority, while others promote teaching traditional characters first. Yet to some, teaching traditional and simplified characters simultaneously is preferable, while others believe that learning Hanyu Pinyin alone reduces the learning load and advocate the idea that learning characters be postponed to the later stages. This study discusses reading priorities for students of L2 Chinese in an environment that promotes balanced teaching of traditional and simplified characters from scratch. Results show that most learners prefer simplified characters though the number of students who equally acquired both characters in a set is also high. Fewer students prefer traditional characters, whereas texts in Hanyu Pinyin were not students’ preferred choice. Moreover, learners’ text comprehensions were better and more accurate when texts were written in characters.

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30. 07. 2023

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How to Cite

Li, X. (2023). Teaching Both Simplified and Traditional Characters to Learners of Chinese as L2. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 13(2), 39-57. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.13.2.39-57