Chinese language education in recent Hong Kong: A brief study on wrongly written Chinese characters of local university students

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Abstract

This study analyses the results of an investigation of wrongly written Chinese characters of Hong Kong university students. In recent years, many local university students display poor Chinese language proficiency while writing. A study was conducted in a Chinese writing course for year one undergraduate students of The Education University of Hong Kong. The data about wrongly written characters were collected from the students’ assignments and test scripts. To explore the reasons behind university students writing the wrong Chinese character frequently, the “errors analysis” by James (1998) was employed to determine the reasons and impact of making such mistakes. The result shows that many students wrote wrong Chinese characters, because they are mainly affected by the characters’ structures, pronunciations and meanings. Moreover, some students insisted that they are just careless or lack concentration in general. Besides the common reasons above, some students suggest a new reason for writing wrong Chinese characters: in past decades, Japanese culture has come to have an influence on many young people around the world. In Hong Kong, many youngsters are influenced by Japanese culture deeply, so in the end they will sometimes mix up and misuse the Chinese characters (especially the simplified Chinese characters which are used in mainland China) and Japanese characters. Thus, they will wrongly use the Japanese characters in their Chinese writing (especially handwriting). At the end of the study, it suggests some solutions to enhance students’ Chinese language proficiency in this aspect and prevent them from writing incorrect characters again.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

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Citation

Tse, C. Y. (2017, May). Chinese language education in recent Hong Kong: A brief study on wrongly written Chinese characters of local university students. Paper presented at The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2017 (ACLL2017): Educating for Change, Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan.