Loh, E. K. Y., & Tse, S. K. (2012). An investigation of school-based curriculum of effective Chinese character learning for Non-Chinese speaking kindergarteners. Han-Character and Classical Written Language Education, 171-195. doi: 10.15670/HACE.2012.28.1.171.
第二語文學習, 幼兒中文, 識字, 課程, 教法, 教材
An investigation of school-based curriculum of effective Chinese character learning for Non-Chinese speaking kindergarteners
Han-Character and Classical written language Education
Elizabeth.Ka Yee LOH, Shek Kam TSE
Based on the research findings of non-government agency, the number of 'non-Chinese speaking' Hong Kong citizens are increasing, most of them have relatively low social-economic status. Hong Kong SAR government provides 12-year free but compulsory education (from Grade 1 to Grade 12), but not includes pre-school education, this makes the school fee for pre-school education very expensive. Therefore, the non-Chinese speaking families found it difficult to afford these educational expenses, and seldom send their young child to go to kindergartens. Starting from 2007, Hong Kong Education Bureau carried out the 'Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme' which provide fee subsidy for parents. Since then, more and more non-Chinese speaking parents send their young child to learn Chinese language at kindergartens. As Chinese language is a foreign language to them, their educational needs, learning processes and difficulties are quite different from local young children. As a result, many Chinese language teachers encountered a lot of difficulties when teaching non-Chinese speaking students. The present study applied 'integrative perceptual approach on the teaching of Chinese characters', second language learning theories, and the developmental study of Hong Kong young children’s spoken language as the research framework, and consider non-Chinese speaking young children’s educational needs and difficulties, then design a school-based Chinese language curriculum (mainly focuses on Chinese characters learning), learning materials and teaching strategies for kindergartens. This is the first large-scale and systematic study on the Chinese characters learning and teaching of non-Chinese speaking young children in Hong Kong. There are three kindergartens, with about 120 non-Chinese speaking young children and their parents, three kindergarten principals, and six Chinese language teachers participated in the present study. The curriculum design of the present study is based on the oral language development of young children in Hong Kong, types and frequency of vocabulary which young children can speak. They will also learn the structure and components of Chinese characters. Furthermore, Chinese language teachers applied various teaching strategies to teach Chinese characters, including 'learning by playing games', 'create language environment', 'composition of Chinese components', 'find out common components', 'find out root of Chinese characters', 'nursery rhyme', and 'learning from life experiences' etc., to help non-Chinese speaking young children to learn Chinese characters systemically, increase their learning motivation, enhance their sensitivity to the structure of Chinese characters, so as to strengthen their learning performance. This paper reported the preliminary design of an effective school-based curriculum for the learning and teaching of Chinese language for non-Chinese speaking young children, with explanation of the theoretical framework, the rationale for the design of the curriculum, teaching materials (with exercises) and teaching strategies.