The main difficulty for Chinese language students is Chinese characters learning, moreover, education of professional Sinology scholars requires a solid foundation on which further knowledge will be built. This makes the Chinese Character Introduction Course (hereinafter CCIC) highly important, but at the same time rather laborious both for students and for instructor. The CCIC is an initial and an integral part of Chinese language course at St. Petersburg State University. The CCIC is aimed to develop basic writing skills, get the idea of internal logic of Chinese character composition, learn 214 radicals and basic strokes, learn to identify radicals and strokes within characters, learn to work with a dictionary.
- Materials and methods
The amount of classroom hours allocated to the CCIC is not fixed, depending on the number of students in the group, their comprehensive skills and learning abilities, etc. Its volume is 36-48 hours (18-24 academic classes), while the general Chinese language course in the first semester is estimated as 208 hours. The theory of the CCIC is mainly based on the book “Introduction to Chinese Characters: Educational Reference Book” , while practical exercises were at first improvised during classroom session and later improved according to teaching and learning needs, taking into account mistakes made, questions asked, and sticking points encountered.
The CCIC requires the following set of tools:
- One thick squared notebook (48-96 pages) for writing down radicals, rules, and other basic information, used as reference book.
- Two small squared notebooks (12-18 pages) or Chinese worksheets for character handwriting, used as a worksheet for handwriting training.
- Fountain pen
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