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Investigating the Effects of using Mobile Devices as a Learning Tool for the Study of Chinese Characters - Using Smartphone and Instant Messaging Software such as Line as the Example
Instant Messaging software Line
Chinese Characters Teaching
Learning effects and motivation
In regards to the learning process of Chinese characters and the Chinese language, the biggest problem that is encountered is the writing of Chinese characters. But there is not very much time to teach the writing of Chinese characters during classes in the classroom. After classroom teachings, students must follow the stroke order suggestions in their character writing books and diligently practice writing. This study hopes to replace with lively Chinese character stroke order animations to see if they can promote the learning motivation of writing Chinese characters, in the meantime，to enhance the learning effects. Due to the development of modern technology, internet and the mobile devices available for people, the ease of learning has been improved. In this study, smartphones are combined with the instant messaging software “Line”, in which a Line Group is created and is treated as a study platform to send and receive recorded animations of Chinese character stroke order as well as miniature educational videos as a supplement of teaching materials, letting students watch these stroke order animations at any time and from any place after having lessons in the classroom. Furthermore, they have to pick up a pen and practice writing characters, take a photo of the writing practice results and upload it onto the Line group chat room. The group chat members can then watch each other’s work and it might encourage each other. This will make practicing writing Chinese characters a straightforward and habitual action. This study hypothesizes that having this sort of digital method of study can raise the students’ motivation to learn and, furthermore, strengthen their ability to write and recognize characters. Because of the aforementioned reasons, this study recruited 25 participants, with a level of Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) A1 or lower, to take part in a four-week (each week consisting of five days, 20 days in total) educational experimentation course. Before the beginning of the four weeks, a pre-course exam and a pre-questionnaire were conducted. After the end of the four weeks, there were a post-course exam, a post-questionnaire, and a semi-structured in-depth interview. In the end, 19 participants’ data was used for analysis, and 6 interviewees’ opinions were induced. According to this statistical analysis, the scores of the post-course exams were higher than the pre-course exam, with a remarkable difference between the two. To summarize, through the analyses of interviews as well as of the data from the questionnaires of the participants, we received feedback that the method of the study was convenient, immediate, consistently available, and allowed them to repeatedly practice. As a result, this study improved the participants’ learning motivation and learning effects. Therefore, it can be seen that mobile device “smartphone” and instant messaging software “Line” being used as a learning tool for the study of Chinese characters actually showed positive benefits.
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