Evaluating Approaches to Teaching and Learning Chinese Vocabulary from the Learning Theories Perspective: An Experimental Case Study
With Chinese language gaining more and more popularity among Slovenian students and with the growing numbers of learners of Chinese as a foreign language in Slovenia and elsewhere it is crucial to find an approach that will lead to high quality and long-term knowledge of Chinese and that will motivate learners to continue learning.
We can speak of two basic approaches to teaching Chinese vocabulary: the approach that first introduces pronunciation and the approach that simultaneously introduces pronunciation and character. The key question that arises is which of the two approaches leads to high quality and long-term knowledge? To answer the question an experimental case study was carried out at Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts in the academic year 2011/2012. The case study showed that the approach that simultaneously introduces pronunciation and character and is based on the key principles of constructivist learning theory had beneficial effects on the students in terms of motivation and quality of knowledge of Chinese vocabulary.
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