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ERIC Number: EJ852270
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0005-3503
Introducing OVAL Writing: A New Approach to Chinese Character Retention for Secondary Non-Chinese-Speaking Background Learners
Ren, Guanxin
Babel, v39 n1 p4-10, 37-38 Win 2004
One of the difficulties secondary non-Chinese-speaking background (NCSB) learners are facing is to remember the characters learned in order to recall them when necessary. The traditional way of teaching secondary NCSB learners to remember Chinese characters is through mere repetition, e.g. writing out each single character by following its stroke orders out of context, as in the textbooks by Liu, Deng, and Liu (1995) and Yang, Jun, and Zhou (1999), to name just a couple. This approach is mirrored in the practice Chinese native speakers have when they are in their lower primary school years in China. This approach is tedious, ineffective, and not very learner-friendly for most secondary NCSB learners, because their learning environment and the values they hold for learning are different from those of the native speakers of Chinese in China. This paper attempts to seek an alternative and to improve the rate of learning Chinese characters for secondary NCSB learners. Here, the author introduces the "OVAL-Writing" approach to Chinese character retention that requires secondary NCSB learners in learning characters to observe, visualise, articulate, listen, and write. Given the tasks of a multisensory nature involving the whole brain learning, the OVAL-Writing approach to Chinese character retention is expected to improve character retention. To test this theory, an experiment was conducted in Term 4, 2002 at Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne. A detailed discussion about this experiment is provided. (Contains 2 figures and 2 tables.)
Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Tel: +61-29351-2022; e-mail:; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia