ERIC Number: ED201175
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Demystifying the Chinese Language.
Stanford Univ., CA. Center for Research in International Studies.
The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate to students that the Chinese writing system, though different from the English alphabet system, is an equally plausible communication system. The exploration of Chinese writing is begun with an exercise designed to convey the importance of a written communication system, as well as the problems and frustrations involved in developing such a system. Students then participate in a set of three discovery exercises, offering them an opportunity to decipher Chinese characters, to trace the development of several characters from ancient to modern forms, and to become acquainted with particular features of the Chinese writing system. An investigation follows into the communication difficulties created by the presence of dialects. The final exercise encourages students to evaluate the present goals of "language reform" in the People's Republic of China. The content and design of the unit are aimed at upper elementary-middle school students, but the unit can easily be adapted for other levels. Students are encouraged to work in small groups. Extensive instructions to the teacher and a bibliography make it unnecessary for the teacher to know Chinese. (JB)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Learner
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Center for Research in International Studies.
Note: Developed by the Bay Area China Education Project.