THE MANDARIN ORAL MASTERY PROGRAMME AS PERCEIVED BY NON-NATIVE LEARNERS
Background and Purpose: Pinyin is required in learning Mandarin. The challenge of Romanised Pinyin is that learners must decipher the meaning of words based on the change of tone. Communication research is often conducted without accounting for the effects of the change of tone in learning a language. With the aim of avoiding miscommunication while strengthening awareness, Campus Buddies Programme was employed to provide tone practice for learners and consequently explores the effectiveness of the intervention.
Methodology: This quantitative classroom-based research gathered information through the administration of a questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to 32 Mandarin Level 1 learners identified through purposive sampling. The students studied five topics from the syllabus. A total of 10 native speakers who scored A in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) mentored the learners during the programme. The participants were instructed to answer both pre- and post-tests. Part A consists of demographic details, whereas Part B focuses on the effectiveness of questions and Part C consists of 30 questions of content learned by the respondents. The data were then analysed using SPSS 26 software.
Findings: The respondents demonstrated a positive response towards the programme and suggested further improvement ideas such as prolonging the training session and adding more topics and oral activities. The results implicated the programme as a motivator for oral fluency. Many non-native speakers can benefit from conversation with Mandarin native speakers because it is a strong indicator and sound oral mastery strategy.
Contributions: This research provides insights into the effectiveness of the current programme in motivating students’ oral learning. The outcome is essential in determining the Mandarin conversation strategy. More studies adopting different variables are proposed to explore correlations from different perspectives in order to improve students’ oral learning.
Keywords: Tonal pronunciation, native speakers, non-native speakers, foreign language instruction, Mandarin conversation.
Cite as: Chua, N. A., Soon, G. Y., Ibrahim, M. Y., Che Noh, C. H., Mansor, N. R., Embong Eusoff, A. M., Abdul Rashid, R., & Shen, M. (2022). The Mandarin oral mastery programme as perceived by non-native learners. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(1), 1-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol7iss1pp1-23
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