New Research

All starts with Chinese Characters.

Chinese is one of the most commonly used languages in the world, spoken by almost one fifth of the world’s population. With the recent influx of immigrants from Chinese speaking regions, in the U.S., Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) is the second most common foreign language spoken by those living on U.S. soil, following Spanish (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

Read more: The challenge to Learn Chinese Characters

Mandarin has become an important language because of China’s increasingly important role in international trade. Chinese is formally spoken by many people in Taiwan (23 million people), China (1.3 billion people), and ethnic Chinese enclaves in other parts of the world. Chinese is the third most commonly spoken language in Canada and is the household language for more than two million Asian-Americans.

Read more: Mandarin learning anxiety

The difference between Chinese and western languages is due to their respective forms. Chinese characters do not represent ideas, but instead depict words which are described as Lexi graphic. Learners of Chinese are less likely to associate Chinese characters with their sounds (though native Chinese do) than is the case with students of western languages. Even though the learning process seems arduous, Chinese character recognition ability is the key factor in improving reading and writing proficiency levels.

Read more: Chinese Characters Importance