This website is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. It offers a variety of activities that engage students in learning Chinese characters, vocabulary, pronunciation, among other topics.
Type of Material:
Tutorial, exercise,vocabulary trainer and reference material.
For learning survival and more advanced Chinese vocabulary, characters, and pronunciation. It is good for self-study and to preview vocabulary.
The technical requirements are minimal. A web browser and a media player are needed.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learning goals include vocabulary building, character writing, pinyin/phonetic spelling, and pronunciation practice at elementary and intermediate levels.
Target Student Population:
Students in the first three years of Chinese studies. It can be used all through elementary and intermediate levels, but some information such as type of characters may be more accessible to higher level learners
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic knowledge of Chinese with beginning proficiency.It is important to have some knowledge on character composition.
This Website consists of activities and tools to mainly help users to improve their vocabulary, character writing, and pronunciation. Activities include flash cards, worksheets, a pinyin table, a bingo game, among others. Tools include those that enable users to generate and customize selected learning materials such as worksheets, bingo cards, flash cards, quizzes, puzzles, etc. The site also offers an online dictionary that accepts several input methods. The site is accurate with a variety of practice and presentation formats.
The main page of the website is extremely long, and users can easily lose track of where each learning activity is as they scroll down the page. Additionally, the site does not describe clearly its overall goals and the objectives of each of the learning activities.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The strength of this learning site lies in its variety of activities, helpful tools, and reference materials. In particular, there are several types of worksheets to help users practice writing characters. Users can also play animations of stroke order of selected characters. The pinyin table includes audios of pronunciation of each pinyin syllable and compares it to similar English pronunciation. Animations and audio files engage learning.
There is no apparent systematic presentation of the learning materials in terms of level of proficiency, type of activities, and so forth. The materials seem to be randomly presented. Finally, users will have to sign up for a (nominal) membership fee to use all the available features. This condition is not clearly stated in a place that can be easily seen.
Young learners may find the text-only format a bit unengaging.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
There is an abundance of links on each page to take users to whatever material they wish to learn. Navigation is very easy.
As mentioned above, the main page of this website is too long and not strategically organized. A more user-friendly approach would be to categorize the learning materials by type (e.g., character writing, vocabulary, games, etc.) and to create separate sections/pages for them. Navigation can be quite confusing for first-time users, and several pages have too much information displayed without a consistent format. Text-only format may not keep the interest of some learners.
Other Issues and Comments:
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