Orthographic consistency of educational characters for learners of Chinese as a foreign language

Sun-A Kim, S.H. Shin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This study aimed to investigate phonetic compound characters and their phonetics appearing in 5000 words of The Outline of New HSK (新HSK??大?, 2010), and then to categorize them according to phonetic consistency. There have been many proposals to better teach phonetic compound characters to learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL). However, previous attempts mainly focused on “regularity” between phonetic components and phonetic compound characters. “Consistency” of phonetic components has not been much explored in the field of CFL. It has been reported that the awareness of consistency plays a major role in character processing and reading development of native Chinese children and adults, and that it grows as Chinese proficiency and literacy increase. Thus, an emphasis on consistency is also expected to help CFL learners. The findings of this study showed that pronunciation patterns of Chinese script, one of the deepest writing systems in the world, can actually be extracted based on consistency. The results of this study can help Chinese educators and textbook publishers to design more effective methods and materials to teach characters for CFL learners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-156
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Chinese language and literature (中國語文學論集)
Issue number93
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Consistency
  • Phonetic compound character
  • Phonetic family
  • Outline of new HSK


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