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An Analysis of Pause in CSL Oral Reading and its Pedagogical Application
pause in Chinese
pausing within sentences
rhythm of Chinese
As a Chinese teacher, I have observed that some dysfluent pauses when learners read articles aloud. As little research on this topic has been conducted, the aim of this study is to investigate the errors of pause in Chinese oral reading and develop adapted strategies to improve the teaching practices. 5 CSL learners were asked to participate in this study. The subjects were given a read-aloud task. Their errors of pause are determined based on the perceptual test result of 7 native speakers (NSs). The experimental phonetic techniques were introduced to analyze the data and to detect how pause used differently between CSL learners and NNSs. Results from this study find: (1) Not every silent pause within a sentence is an error; NSs would be more sensitive when the errors are located within a word. (2) All the cases pause inappropriately with prepositions and double-object verbs structures. (3) Part of the cases read aloud in “one pause after each character” way, and aren’t aware of rhythm of Chinese. If CSL pause at a wrong position, NSs will still regard it as an error despite the extremely short duration of the silent pause. On the contrary, if CSL pause at a correct position, NSs will accept a short break or syllable duration. Drawing on the findings, this research proposes that teachers should put more emphasis on where pauses occur in a text. Thus, I referred to the strategies proposed by Oxford (1990) and carried out a plan on five learners in three consecutive teaching sessions in two weeks. The result shows that approximately 70% errors in each case are corrected. It indicates that these strategies are proved effective in reducing the pausing errors in oral reading.
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