cnki 中国知网 searchable

was trying out NIE’s trial subscription to CNKI, and was plesantly surprised that my Fudan ma thesis 新加坡中学生的认识论信念华文学习信念探究 (An exploratory study of the epistemological beliefs and language learning beliefs of Singapore school Chinese Language students) is listed (: must thank my supervisor 张豫峰老师 for putting up the nomination.

direct URL:

use computers for assessment of CL

i applaud dr lee wei ling for her article today in ST “Chinese: Easy to read, hard to write”. the title actually does not reflect fully the rich content within the article. for example, she introduced several key features of Chinese characters:

“a very common misconception about Chinese characters should be dispelled: They are not pictograms. They evolved to become logograms many centuries ago. A logogram is like the McDonald’s sign: it does not look like a burger, but it represents that concept”

“Most characters are made up of radicals, usually two radicals. One, termed the xingpang, indicates the category to which the character belongs … The second radical is the yinpang, the phonological radical. It hints at how the character is to be pronounced … There is a set of rules to determine the location of each radical in the character. The … xingpang are always on the left; the vegetation radical is always at the top of the character. The location of the yinpang is less strictly determined.”

“Chinese has many homophones. In addition, Mandarin has four tones … The tones are not usually represented in hanyu pinyin. Hence for each input of hanyu pinyin we make on a word processor, we can be presented with many possible characters. For example ‘jing’ has 41 characters corresponding to it with widely varying meanings.”

on comprehending chinese (text):

“A knowledge of a fairly limited number of characters can help us accurately guess the meaning of the words formed by a number of characters … So if a student of Chinese learns 1,500 to 2,000 characters, he can easily read a Chinese newspaper … The current Chinese curriculum in Singapore requires a Primary 6 student to know 1,500 to 2,000 characters.”

“Sometimes, a reader may be able to understand what he reads even if he cannot pronounce some of the component characters. … When I encounter a simplified character I do not know, I can guess its meaning from the context of the entire sentence.”

and sharing some of her research findings:

“I have tested more than 1,000 Chinese/English bilingual students from our primary and secondary schools. The ability to read Chinese, I found, was heavily dependent on the command of spoken Chinese.”

“In my research, I found that memory for aurally presented stories is an important independent predictor of Chinese reading ability.”

“I hypothesise that reading Chinese is a bit like fuzzy logic. There are many factors contributing to the ability to read Chinese; and in different contexts, each factor would carry a different weight.”

and here’s the part that pointed out the disparity between learning and assessment:

The irony is that students cannot use word processors in examinations and are required to write the characters. Hanyu pinyin and word processors are allowed in lessons and projects, but to be denied their use in exams makes the exams even more difficult. The Ministry of Education says it will take five or more years to revamp the Chinese curriculum. How many days does it take to change an illogical exam requirement?

“It is obvious that the burden of learning how to write in Chinese is overwhelming for many.”

i can hear many voices out there rejecting dr lee’s idea outright, for e.g. learning to write helps to recognise the characters, knowing the characters can only truly mean one really knows the chinese language; if our students don’t learn to write, they’re going to lose the culture. and the list can go on and on …

but if we take a look at the REAL world out there, how many pple still communicate without using word processors, newspapers, email, sms, etc. personally i have not seen a major newspaper that is printed with all the articles handwritten, have you? or a magazine, a journal article, or a business contract for that matter?

word processing (aka typing) is the current thing to represent the language. i recalled seeing research that had shown that typing helped in the mastery of chinese characters, and consequently helped to up the level of chinese mastery.

writing of chinese character will become an art form, just like the existing chinese calligraphy. if we were to deny and not encourage our young to express the language through typing, it’s as good as denying ourselves, the (slightly) older generaton, the pen, and we should go back to using the brush (or feather?).

let’s see how long it takes for the change that dr lee highlighted to take place. this would mean propelling 1-1 computing forward. and if that’s the case, learning of all subjects, not just CL, can potentially benefit from it (:

Presentation at Zhuan Ye Han Yu lesson

it’s been another long while since i last did a presentation, 今天在专业汉语课上分享了一篇文章的解构,内容的理解很有限,因为缺乏很多周边的知识。好在老师能够深化所谈到的内容,并讲解了许多相关的知识,否则就要浪费各位同学的时间了 (*谢谢老师*)。

文章:徐杰、李英哲(1993) 焦点和两个非线性语法范畴-否定疑问,《中国语文》,第2期。
1. PPT 简报(Office Vista .pptx 版本)(若你用的是Office XP/2003,可以下载这个软件(Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats),就能打开上边的PPTx了)
2. 思维图表 Mindmanager 文件 (这个使用免费阅读器Mindmanager Viewer 7就能打开)
3. IHMC CMap 网站下载链在此
4. MindMan Personal Version 3
5. Mindmanager 网站免费阅读器Mindmanager Viewer 7 下载链在此
谢谢各位同学的支持与鼓励,有什么帮得上忙的可以和我说一声,加油了各位! 🙂

Essays the Gathering

today marks the last day of my first semester in fudan and this is my final installment for the series of (feels like never-ending) examinable essays:

(in English): A sociolinguistics study of youths and Chinese language in Singapore
This paper presents a sociolinguistics study conducted with 56 youths who have studied Chinese Language (CL) during their secondary/junior college days in Singapore and have since left and ‘graduated’ from the CL classroom. Two primary research questions drove this study:
1. Is there any change in the youths’ proficiency level of CL after leaving the CL classroom?
2. How are the youths using CL after graduating from secondary schools/junior colleges?
Three secondary research questions were explored to provide input to the two pri qns.
Data collection was conducted through the administering of an online survey.
Keywords: singapore, chinese language, education, survey, youth, sociolinguistics

A BIG THANK YOU to all my students and friends and students’ friends who have contributed by completing the online survey, without which this study would not have been possible. And since it’s still 大年十一of the Chinese New Year, may I wish one and all “新年快乐,万事如意!学/事业进步,阖府安泰!”
And here’s it, may I present … (the free Acrobat Reader is needed to view the reports)
Essays the Gathering Release Y1S1
1. 《窥探中外语言教学对学习动机的尝试与研究》
2. 《探寻篇章语法给华文教学的一些启示–从”我们中国人老早就认识’康乃馨’牛奶水”谈起》
3. 《语法与作文教学实践探索–以三维语法为线索》
4. 《探索交互白板于汉字教学的应用》
5. 《新加坡华文华语与青年的调查》
6. and FOUR other essays (for record purpose; meaningless ones meant for self-consumption)
and here we go again … semester 2 here i/we come … “Live Long & Prosper”

very impressed – a large collection of publications shared freely

chanced upon Prof Wang, William Shi-Yuan (王士元教授)’s home page in the CUHK server. and in this 1-page long home page, he has shared 38 of his publications in PDF format for download by netizens who are interested in his research work.
if only more researchers/professors are like prof wang, guess the life of students/researchers/teachers/readers would be much easier alike. until the day … …