Tse, S.K. and Tai, C.P. (2016). The Teaching and Learning of Han Characters in Eastern Asia. Han-Character and Classical written language Education, 40, 81-102. http://dx.doi.org/10.15670/HACE.2016.40.1.81.
The Teaching and Learning of Han Characters in Eastern Asia
Han-Character and Classical written language Education
Shek Kam TSE, Chung Pui TAI
Chinese characters are ideographic representations of real-life phenomena, their usage in written language systems in the East Asia having a long history. They are widely used in many East Asian countries and feature in the official languages of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore. The system and rules governing how characters are written and pronounced vary across regional and national boundaries: simplified characters are used in Mainland China; traditional characters are used in Hong Kong; Kanzi adaptations of Chinese characters are used in Japan; and Chinese characters are used in Korea. Chinese characters are ideographic, their form and shape reflecting the meaning of the phenomena they represent. The learning of Chinese characters and the way they are written and pronounced are fundamental processes in acquiring a Chinese lexicon. The learning of Chinese characters involves recognizing what each stands for; how they are pronounced; the rules governing how they are written down; and how the order in which they are written. The characters learnt in the early stages of reading and writing are similar across national and regional boundaries, the choice of characters varying little across countries and regions. The number of characters children are taught to recognize in the early stages of schooling range from about 1000 to 3500 in number: the number of characters they learn to write varying from about 825-2600. The basic element in the structure of a Chinese character is called the ‘part’ and is important for mastering the reading and writing of the character. The learning and teaching of Chinese characters begins with listening to what individual characters mean and how they are pronounced; recognizing how they are conventionally written; then practicing the writing of characters until they can be reproduced on demand. The written forms of some Chinese characters differ slightly across countries and regions, which may generate some confusion for the learner, and the standard teaching of traditional Chinese characters could help to minimize this problem. Also of help would be for teachers to start from teaching learners to recognize individual characters; to learn how each is pronounced and what it means; and the conventions in the order in which characters are written. Importantly, teachers are encouraged to provide a relaxed, stress-free learning environment and to use attractive resources so as to make character learning a pleasant experience.
漢字是一個歷史悠久的文字系統, 長久以來普遍用於東亞國家及地區。中國, 臺灣, 香港, 日本, 韓國和新加坡皆以漢字作為官方語言文字。各地漢字的規範準則, 體系, 寫法和表示發音的方式都不同, 例如, 中國大陸的規範漢字, 香港的繁體字, 日本漢字和韓國漢字。漢字是表意文字, 由字的意義來構形。中文閱讀的基礎在識字, 能辨認漢字和詞彙。識字是讀准字音, 辨別字形和瞭解字義的心理歷程。不同國家和地區都對識字量和寫字量有不同的要求, 識字量由1006-3500字不等, 寫字量由825-2600字不等。漢字字形結構上的最基本單位是部件, 它是具有組配漢字功能的構字單位, 是學習漢字時重要的單位。各地的漢字教學, 基本是從聽說能力開始, 讓學生辨別漢字的發音。然後進行識字教學, 培養寫作能力和理解力。然而, 漢字在各國家和地區的寫法不同, 令學生認讀相同漢字的不同字形感到混淆；先學習繁體字則有助解決此問題。提升學童聽力, 熟悉漢字的發音, 然後訓練說的能力, 再進而集中識字, 最後進行閱讀和寫作訓練；教師製造和諧輕鬆的課堂氣氛, 教學生活化, 令學習變成快樂的事。這樣的教學順序和學習環境, 能夠讓學童更有效掌握漢字的學習。