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Peer Review

Practice Your Pinyin



Overall Numeric Rating:

3.33 stars
Content Quality: 3 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Nov 04, 2002 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: This module is intended for first year students of the Chinese Language Program
at the University of Iowa. However, users who are beginners of Mandarin Chinese
can make use of this site. The site addresses basic skills in tones, initials,
and finals of the Chinese pinyin system. Users have opportunities to listen,
model, write, and test their skills. Since the module is designed for beginners,
English is used for the most part. There is no scoring, but there is instant
feedback on correct and incorrect answers. There is a quiz as for all users, and
UI students can take a test if they have a password.
Type of Material:
Recommended Uses:
Technical Requirements: JavaScript is used in the module, therefore users are advised to use Netscape
4.05 or better on Windows OS, or Internet Explorer 5 on Macintosh OS.
Information on audio and links to audio players appear on the main page of this
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Target Student Population: Beginning learners of Chinese
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The module is well focused and has a clear purpose. Practice exercises include
listening and writing pinyin. The test at the end is especially useful.
Concerns: The sound is sometimes not very clear, especially the male voice. The fonts are
quite small and not user-friendly.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The module is very useful as a teaching and learning resource for students. They
can use it independently at their own pace. They can also check their progress
by taking the quiz or test. Teachers can integrate this module into classroom
practice or use it as a homework assignment. The sections on tones, initials,
and finals are clearly divided for practice of different linguistic skills.
Concerns: Besides increasing the audio quality and font size, it is recommended that the
words in the exercises be chosen so that they are useful for future tasks, e.g.,
learning vocabulary in lessons. Relevant images should be included in the
module to make this learning site more interesting for students.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: The technical aspects are consistent across the various sections of the module.
Immediate feedback is also provided for the exercises. Navigation is relatively
easy. The module also invites feedback from users through a survey. It also
includes an e-mail contact in case of problems.
Concerns: To make the module more engaging for users, there should be relevant images such
as Chinese linguistic or cultural symbols and more use of color.

Other Issues and Comments: