Designing CALL for learning Chinese characters

Ho Cheong LAM, W. W. KI, N. LAW, A. L. S. CHUNG, Po Yuk KO, A. H. S. HO, Sai Wing PUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the enormity of its quantity, printed or written forms of Chinese characters are composed from a limited number of common components. For example, the characters for pond(池), lake(湖), stream(江), river(河), sea(海) and ocean(洋) all contain a component in common, a three-dot component representing water. When this clue is explicitly highlighted to students, the learning of Chinese characters can be greatly enhanced. Using a computer to help students to develop this kind of structural awareness about language learning has not yet been thoroughly examined. This paper reports on the design of CALL software based on a pedagogic method which helps students to develop the higher order skills to analyse and categorise Chinese characters by using components. The result of the classroom experiment has shown supportive evidence on the feasibility and the need of integrating the software with an affective and contextual way of teaching Chinese characters. Copyright © 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-128
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


Lam, H. C., Ki, W. W., Law, N., Chung, A. L. S., Ko, P. Y., Ho, A. H. S., et al. (2001). Designing CALL for learning Chinese characters. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17(1), 115-128.


  • Chinese characters
  • Courseware
  • Illuminative evaluation
  • Instruction
  • Multimedia
  • Primary
  • School


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