Research on L2 Chinese character acquisition

Authored by: Tianlu Zhang , Chuanren Ke

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Second Language Acquisition

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138946606
eBook ISBN: 9781315670706
Adobe ISBN:


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Learning Chinese characters is perceived as one of the biggest challenges for non-native speakers of Chinese. This chapter reviews research on Chinese character acquisition among second language learners. Specifically, this chapter first provides a brief history of Chinese character acquisition studies, and then presents current research findings on (a) cognitive and psychological processes of Chinese character learning; (b) learner-related factors, such as first language backgrounds and learning strategies, in Chinese character learning; and (c) principles in Chinese character teaching curriculum design and effectiveness of instruction. Based on the above research synthesis, this chapter also discusses implications to future studies and teaching practices.

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