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Design Principles of Chinese Character Worksheets for Special Guidance Education in Malaysia: A Case Study of Confucian Private Secondary School
Special Guidance Education
Learning of Chinese Character
Confucian Private Secondary School
Special Guidance Education, an education system similar to Taiwan’s “Remedial Teaching Measure”, is specially designed by Chinese Independent Secondary Schools (CISS) in Malaysia for students with low learning ability and students sidelined from the mainstream education system. Currently, there are 13 CISS in Malaysia providing this Special Guidance Education with various course designs and course models. They are named differently too. Some schools name them as Remove Class, Special Guidance Class or Classic Class. This paper is about a case study on the Junior Foundation (year one of Special Guidance Class) students in the Confucian Private Secondary School (CPSS). They have received proper Chinese education during the six years’ time in their primary school but most of them did not excel in learning the language. Several external factors are believed to be the reasons why their level is not on par with the primary school standard-six level. The author has concluded from his own teaching experience, discussions with other teachers and the analysis on the Chinese paper in the Entrance Examination of CPSS, that, these students have not acquired the few basic skills of Chinese character learning to master the language. This batch of students has been using the teaching material “Junior Foundation Chinese” produced by the CPSS in year 2012. It has been found out that the text script and exercises in the teaching material focus heavily on the learning of vocabularies and sentences and it lacks of training on few items including the strokes of a Chinese character, the stroke order, the radical of the Chinese character, the Chinese character component and Pin Yin. All these are important elements for learning single Chinese character. To tackle this problem, the author produces a design principle of Chinese character worksheets based on the modern text section of the teaching material mentioned above and no original teaching materials have been modified. The target learning character of the worksheets are chosen from topic title and vocabulary of each chapter. This set of worksheets is arranged before every text learning of the chapter and is believed to be suitable for the Junior Foundation students from CPSS and other CISS students at the equivalent level. One of the worksheets is designed according to the chapter in this teaching material and this has been used in a real classroom scenario for experimental purposes. In this study, as the outcome of the experiment, to compare the differences, the results of pre-test and post-test (spelling) for both the experimental and control group were analyzed and the study found out that this worksheet effectively enhances a learner’s ability to recognize, listen and write the Chinese character.
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