Many L2 learners of Chinese are found to learn Chinese in both Taiwan and China. An obvious question arises in this context is the cross-strait interchangeability of vocabularies introduced in different textbooks. For instance, one of the difficulties lies in the traditional-simplified distinction of Chinese characters. More importantly, the cross-strait mismatch of the vocabulary quantity in different textbooks is another issue that is likely to cause a transitional challenge for these learners to go from one place to another through their learning process. The major research question of this paper is the quantity and the cross-strait interchangeability of the vocabularies in the textbooks used for the first two semesters (=one year) in beginner's Chinese courses in both Taiwan and China. The representative textbooks used for beginners in Taiwan are Book I, Book IIA, and Book IIB of Far East Everyday Chinese. On the other hand, the counterparts in China are Book I and Book II of Practical Chinese Reader, New Edition. We carried out statistical analysis of the texts in these two textbooks, focusing on the frequency and the times of occurrences of the vocabularies. The results of the statistical analyses show significant qualitative and quantitative differences in the sets of characters introduced in these textbooks in Taiwan and Mainland China. Students who start out to study Chinese in Taiwan would face 24% unknown characters introduced in Practical Chinese Reader, New Edition when they transfer to Mainland China at the same level. By contrast, those who start out in Mainland China would find unfamiliar 49% of the characters in Far East Everyday Chinese when transferring to Taiwan. In addition, the social-linguistic disparity between Taiwan and Mainland China influences the selection of characters/vocabularies in textbooks. Thus, further research is needed to bridge the cross-strait qualitative/quantitative gap between the characters/vocabularies introduced in textbooks for beginner's level.
|Translated title of the contribution
|A Preliminary Survey of the Quantity and the Cross-Strait Interchangeability of the Vocabularies in Chinese Textbooks for Beginner's Level
|Number of pages
|Published - 2014