“The Buyer”-An Interesting Way to Help Children to Learn Chinese Characters | 遊戲「收買佬」—幫助小朋友學習中文字的有趣方



“Daddy, can I buy candies?” “Mommy, I want to buy toys!” Buying and selling represent everyday behaviors that everyone experiences, and young children are very familiar with such interactions. An interesting educational game, 收買佬) integrates this daily exchange behavior with Chinese character learning to enhance children’s Chinese literacy ability.


In The Buyer, children are instructed to be the sellers and parents/teachers are the buyers. The products for sale are character cards of Phono-semantic compounds (形聲字), which will be given to children prior to the game. The buyers (parents/teachers) will then come to the store to buy cards with certain radicals (e.g. “Can I buy cards containing the wood木 radical?”) The seller (children) thus need to find characters with certain radicals (e.g. 松, 林) and give them to the buyers. Buyers are encouraged to elaborate further regarding the radical if sellers have difficulties in finding them (e.g. “The wood radical is something related to nature…”). The game helps children to identify characters with the same radicals and to enhance children’s Chinese literacy ability by supplementing parents’/teachers’ explanations of phonetic and semantic radicals. In Hong Kong, several schools include “The Buyer” in their curriculum and apply the game in different contexts as well as in different subjects.


The Chinese radical learning method has long been investigated and demonstrated to be helpful in learning Chinese characters. By increasing students’ knowledge of a character’s orthographic structure, the awareness of character morphology rises. As a result, students’ abilities in writing Chinese characters improve (Packard et al., 2006). Furthermore, this method not only benefits Chinese-as-a-first-language learners but also Chinese-as-a-Foreign-Language (CFL) learners. One study demonstrated that applying a radical-derived teaching approach boosts CFL learners’ phonetic and semantic knowledge of Chinese characters (Chen, Hsu, Chang, Chang, & Sung, 2013). Integrating games with radical-related methods to learn Chinese words is an effective way of learning and may trigger children’s interest to a greater extent.


References

Packard, J., Chen, X., Li, W.L., Wu, X., Gaffney, J., Li, H. & Anderson, R. (2006). Explicit instruction in orthographic structure and word morphology helps Chinese children learn to write characters. Reading and Writing, 19(5), 457-487.

Chen, H.-C., Hsu, C.-C., Chang, L.-Y., Chang, K.-E. & Sung, Y.-T. (2013). Using a radical-derived character e-learning platform to increase learner knowledge of Chinese characters. Language, Learning & Technology, 17(1), 89.

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This article was written by our guest blogger Miss. Merrisa Lin.  Miss. Lin is currently an intern in the Life Span Development Laboratory of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Miss. Merrisa Lin

Research & Social Media Intern

Life Span Development Laboratory

Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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「爸爸,我可以買糖糖嗎?」「媽咪,我想買玩具!」買賣活動是一個日常生活中大家都會經歷的事情,小朋友也不例外。而“收買佬”即是一個幫助增進小朋友中文讀寫能力的遊戲,希望透過整合日常買賣行為和中文字學習,達到學習中文字的目地。

收買佬中,小朋友會扮演賣家的角色,而家長/老師則會作為買家。小朋友在遊戲開始前會拿到買賣的物品—形聲字字卡。遊戲開始後,買家(家長/老師)會到店裡買指定部首的字卡(如,「我可以買所有帶有『木』字旁的卡片嗎?」)。賣家(小朋友)則需要找出所有帶有指定部首的字卡(如,松、林)給買家。如果小朋友找不到相對應的字卡,買家可以給一些關於特定部首的提示來幫助賣家找到商品(如,「『木』字旁是與大自然相關的⋯⋯」)。「收買佬」這個遊戲會幫助小朋友識別相同部首的中文字,亦會藉由家長/老師對於部首的闡釋幫助小朋友增進中文字的相關知識。在香港,許多學校將「收買佬」納入課綱且在不同的科目、環境中玩此遊戲。

利用部首學習中文字長久以來都是熱門的研究議題,且被許多研究證明為學習中文字的有效方式。增進關於中文字形體和拼字法則的知識,會提升學生對於中文字形體的敏銳度,而學生的中文寫字能力亦會進步(Packard et al., 2006)。而且,利用部首學習中文字不只幫助以中文為母語的學生學習字詞,對於以中文為外語的學習者來說也有幫助。一項研究指出,利用部首導向教學方法會提升中文為外語的學生對於中文字語音和意義的知識,進而提升中文字的學習效果(Chen, Hsu, Chang, Chang, & Sung, 2013)。因此,將遊戲和部首導向學習方式整合是一個有效的學習方式且會激發學生學習中文字的興趣。

​參考文獻:

Packard, J., Chen, X., Li, W.L., Wu, X., Gaffney, J., Li, H. & Anderson, R. (2006). Explicit instruction in orthographic structure and word morphology helps Chinese children learn to write characters. Reading and Writing, 19(5), 457-487.

Chen, H.-C., Hsu, C.-C., Chang, L.-Y., Chang, K.-E. & Sung, Y.-T. (2013). Using a radical-derived character e-learning platform to increase learner knowledge of Chinese characters. Language, Learning & Technology, 17(1), 89.


此文章由我們的客席博客林筠晴小姐撰寫。林小姐現為香港中文大學心理學系生命全期發展實驗室的實習生。

林筠晴小姐

研究及社交媒體實習生

生命全期發展實驗室

香港中文大學心理學系

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