Resources for Educators who are recruiting and enrolling students from China in the USA.
Published On: Sat, Jun 1st, 2013

Copycat?

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Today, China is known for its ability to copy and make fake brand name goods. Not only is the art of copying a way of mastering a technique (read my Plagiarism post) but it is deeply rooted in the tradition of the language and the characters involved in Chinese.

Just take a look at an individual Chinese character.  Before there was the computer, keyboard or pin yin (romanization of Chinese characters so that they can be typed used in computer programming code), a student would have to learn each character stroke by stroke and copy this character 30 times before it was registered in his/her head.  With over 56,000 characters in the Chinese language, only 3500 are widely use.  Remember, the writing in Chinese characters is not related to phonetics.  It relies on pictographs that require memorization, the understanding of the radicals that make up the characters (somewhat pictograph in nature) and the 4 tones associated with the pronunciation of each character.

Imagine a student from China who is programmed to learn the Chinese language but then has to switch to the English language or vice versa an American student used to English but learning Chinese.  These two languages have very little in common.  However, given enough time, students from China will muster the courage to use their English.. Encourage them to speak and even if they do not always get it right, we can generally understand them.  To find common ground, tell the student that Chinese is a hard language to learn and make them realize that you know where they are coming from by learning a new foreign language.

Irene Tieh
Cross-Cultural Connector and
Founder of USA College Connection
irene@askucc.com

 

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