The Choice of Traditional vs. Simplified Characters in US ClassroomsReport as inadecuate

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Online Submission, US-China Education Review v6 n12 p67-74 Dec 2009

Which form of Chinese characters should be taught in Chinese language classes: traditional or simplified? The results of a questionnaire distributed to sections at the University of Florida show the reasons for students' preferences for one or the other form. In view of the students' awareness that traditional characters are more beneficial to understanding Chinese culture, and of revaluations in China of the traditional form as a carrier of culture, the author maintains that the prevalent practice of teaching simplified characters in US classrooms should be modified. Various other linguistic and historical considerations contribute to this recommendation. Finally, the author offers some suggestions regarding methods of teaching. (Contains 6 footnotes and 1 figure.)

Descriptors: Asian Culture, Foreign Countries, Mandarin Chinese, Teaching Methods, Chinese, Questionnaires, Surveys, Higher Education

Author: Deng, Shi-zhong


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