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Title: Effects of pictures on learning pictographic characters: comparisons between native and non-native Chinese children
Other Titles: 상형자 학습에 미치는 그림의 효과연구: 어린이 모국어화자와 대외한어학습자 비교를 중심으로
Authors: Kim, SA 
Shin, SY
Mao, CC
Shin, SH
Keywords: Picture
Chinese characters
Character learning
Child learners
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Society For Research of Chinese Language and Literature
Source: Journal of Chinese language and literature (中國語文學論集), 2016, v. 99, p. 145-165 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of Chinese language and literature (中國語文學論集) 
Abstract: It has been reported that there are phases in children’s reading development, and that children depend on salient visual features in or around target words to read in the first phase. The current study investigated whether pictures as visual stimuli help learning pictographic characters by young beginning readers of Chinese who are supposed to be in the first reading stage. A total of 40 children at an age of five on average participated in an experiment of learning pictographs and a Chinese character test, which were conducted in a city of Southern China. Fifteen participants were native (L1) Chinese who read Pinyin but recognized a limited number of characters. The other 25 children were non-native learners of Chinese as a second language (L2), who had learned spoken Chinese for less than two months almost without any knowledge of Chinese characters. Participating children learned 12 pictographs, six of which were presented with pictures (i.e., picture condition) and the other six without pictures (i.e., no-picture condition) in three trials. The results showed that both L1 and L2 learners found the advantages of pictures in learning the meanings and the pronunciations of the pictographs, but the pictures were more beneficial to learning the pronunciations than the meanings. The findings verify the effects of pictures in learning pictographs, especially for their pronunciation. In addition, L1 Chinese children displayed more balanced outcomes in learning meanings and pronunciations. On the contrary, L2 learners indicated higher performance in learning meaning than in pronunciation regardless of the pictures, which suggests that the pronunciations of pictographs need to be emphasized more, and thus, pictures should be utilized more in teaching novice L2 learners pictographic characters.
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