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JTCLT Abstract

Volume 12 Number 2, 2021
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Zhang, P. (2021). Typing to Replace Handwriting: Effectiveness of the Typing-Primary Approach for L2 Chinese Beginners. Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, 12(2), 1-28.
[张霓. (2021). 打字取代手写——以打字为主的初级中文教学的有效性. 科技与中文教学 (Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching), 12(2), 1-28.]

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It is a common assumption in the TCFL field that handwriting Chinese characters (Hanzi) is a prerequisite for Hanzi reading and memorization, and that typing instead of handwriting hinders CFL beginners’ literacy development. This study provides evidence for the contrary. Pinyin-based typing employs holistic processing of phonological–visual chunks. This fundamentally different cognitive route supports sound-meaning-form mapping and retrieval, thus facilitating Hanzi processing and memory. The performance data of 108 CFL true beginners from a US university were analyzed with 1,440 assessment records. Compared to using handwriting as a primary mode for daily practice, learners using Pinyin-typing and digital tools performed equally well in reading comprehension and Hanzi accuracy in typed essays, and significantly better in essay length, sentence-level word recognition, and program-end cumulative Hanzi retention. The results suggest that the Pinyin-based typing approach with distributed practice throughout the courses enhances Hanzi rehearsal and retrieval at the word and phrase levels, which in effect facilitate word retention and promote Hanzi literacy development.

在L2中文教学界手写汉字常被认为是汉字认读和记忆的先决条件,而以打字方式取代手写则会不利于初学者的汉字学习,乃至阻碍其读写技能的发展。本研究提出了相反的证据。拼音打字采用的是语音-视觉组块的整体处理方式,属于完全不同于手写的认知途径; 此方式支持“音-义-形”对应连接及其语块提取,有助于汉字的语块处理和记忆。本研究对一所美国大学中文班的108名中文初学者共1440项成绩记录进行了数据分析。打字为主的学习者在阅读理解和写作汉字准确性这两方面的表现与手写为主的学习者相当,而在写作长度、句子层面的单词识别、以及课程累积汉字记忆这三方面的表现显著强于手写为主的学习者。研究结果表明,将打字练习系统性地分布于全课程可有效地增强汉字在词语层面的演练和提取,从而在实际上促进词语记忆及汉字读写技能的发展。

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