Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Chinese 1010: Analyzing my Language Learning Journal

Class

Article

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Karin deJonge-Kannan

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

This paper examines challenges native English speakers face in learning Mandarin Chinese, a language "culturally and linguistically remote" (Pyun, Kim, Cho, & Lee, 2014, p. 111) from their native language (L1). The author documented her language learning experience in a beginning Chinese course through daily journal entries reflecting on progress, challenges, and successes. Emotive descriptors from a total of 47 entries were identified and categorized according to positive or negative affect; out of 42 emotive descriptors used 125 times, the most common was "frustrating". These frustrations proceeded from two categories: (1) challenges specific to learning Chinese, such as tones (Zhang 2016), script (Zhao, Guo, & Dynia, 2013), and cultural distance (Ruan, Duan, & Du, 2015); and (2) challenges generalizable to all foreign language (FL) learners, such as fear of incompetence (LoCastro, 2012), self-comparison to classmates (Bailey, 1983), and a high affective filter (Krashen, 1982). FL teachers should understand these frustrations in order to decrease student anxiety and create a positive learning atmosphere. Students are encouraged to keep a language learning journal, as it affords both cognitive and emotional benefits.

Location

Room 421

Start Date

4-12-2018 10:30 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 11:45 AM

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Apr 12th, 10:30 AM Apr 12th, 11:45 AM

Chinese 1010: Analyzing my Language Learning Journal

Room 421

This paper examines challenges native English speakers face in learning Mandarin Chinese, a language "culturally and linguistically remote" (Pyun, Kim, Cho, & Lee, 2014, p. 111) from their native language (L1). The author documented her language learning experience in a beginning Chinese course through daily journal entries reflecting on progress, challenges, and successes. Emotive descriptors from a total of 47 entries were identified and categorized according to positive or negative affect; out of 42 emotive descriptors used 125 times, the most common was "frustrating". These frustrations proceeded from two categories: (1) challenges specific to learning Chinese, such as tones (Zhang 2016), script (Zhao, Guo, & Dynia, 2013), and cultural distance (Ruan, Duan, & Du, 2015); and (2) challenges generalizable to all foreign language (FL) learners, such as fear of incompetence (LoCastro, 2012), self-comparison to classmates (Bailey, 1983), and a high affective filter (Krashen, 1982). FL teachers should understand these frustrations in order to decrease student anxiety and create a positive learning atmosphere. Students are encouraged to keep a language learning journal, as it affords both cognitive and emotional benefits.