Honolulu: University of Hawaii * National Foreign Language Resource Center
This paper reports on a study that investigates how different learning methods might affect the learning process of character handwriting among beginning college learners of Chinese, as measured by tests of recognition, approximate production, precise production, and awareness of conventional stroke sequence. Two methodologies were examined during character learning: a worksheet numbering system (the most prevailing workbook method used to learn characters) and a theoretically grounded handwriting system (a multimedia method). A repeated-measures MANOVA showed that under the multimedia treatment, novice learners with no prior character writing experience performed better on all four measures, and first-year learners with six months of character-writing experience only performed better in precise production and awareness of conventional sequence. Variations of character formation produced in both treatments, and learners’ perceptions were also analyzed to determine the effects of the two methods. Educational implications in the teaching and learning of character handwriting are provided based on the empirical results.