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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Pinyin Practice

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.33 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 14, 2005 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: This website is a useful resource for practicing pinyin, i.e., the romanized
spelling of the Chinese pronunciation system. There are exercises for practicing
tones, initials, and finals separately. There is also a quiz for practicing
pinyin with all three components. The exercises and the quiz provide immediate
feedback to the user.
Learning Goals: Chinese pronunciation
Target Student Population: Beginning Chinese learners
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material:
Recommended Uses: Beginning Chinese learners
Technical Requirements: Web browser and audio player

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This web site provides a convenient way for beginning learners of Chinese to
practice pinyin and pronunciation by doing the exercises on tones, initials, and
finals of pinyin. Each exercise consists of Chinese characters, pinyin, and
audio for the pronunciation. There is also a quiz where learners input the
pinyin of prescribed sounds. This site is user-friendly in that learners can
receive online feedback so that they can correct their mistakes immediately. The
keyboard shortcuts are another convenience for learners. For example, learners
can simply press the spacebar to play audio, the letter ?n? to go to the next
item, and the letters ?c? and ?p? to show/hide character and pinyin,
respectively.
Concerns: In addition to exercises on tones, initials, and finals separately, the site
should include exercises where learners can practice tone change as well.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The audio files have good sound quality. This is very important for teaching
pronunciation. The exercises are self-explanatory and cover all possible sounds
in pinyin. Such comprehensive exercises can be a useful tool for students to
review pinyin and practice pronunciation.
Concerns: The font currently used in the quiz may not be readable by some students. It is
suggested that Unicode be used instead.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This pinyin learning module is easy to use and does not require special computer
skills. The audio files also load quite fast. The layout of the exercises is
consistent, and the background picture is attractive and relevant to the subject
matter.
Concerns: In addition to information on technical requirements, there should be
instruction on how to view the Chinese characters in the exercises. The
characters can appear as random gibberish symbols for some users.

Other Issues and Comments: