Project Report by: Naogan Ma and Shaozhong Ma
Our Mellon Project consists of two parts: 1) to develop materials helping students of Chinese distinguish between commonly confused Chinese characters; 2) to take still and video pictures of the sites in China that we visited while we were in China (China trip not funded by Mellon) for other Chinese projects in the future.
Chinese characters: Collected many pairs of characters. They are divided into eight units. Each unit has 25 pairs at present. Later, more pairs can be added either by adding more units, or more pairs in each unit.
HyperCard stacks are used for creating this exercise on the computer. In each character pair, there are character romanizations and sounds. This part of the project is to be finished and tested. Students at Trinity will use the exercise in the fall of 1998.
Pictures: We were not able to take video pictures as planned due to the difficulties obtaining a video camera (Nina Garrett and Philip Duffy could not solve this problem before we had to leave for China). After discussing this with Nina, it was agreed that we would use our own camera to take still pictures only. We took many pictures of many sites in China, including college campuses, classrooms, popular scenery spots, dormitories, sanitary facilities, etc. Many of these pictures have already been scanned in the computer for future use, and many of them have been used in classroom teaching this year already.
In addition to these pictures, we also collected magazines, newspapers (Beijing Daily, Beijing Evening News, Chinese Education, Guang Ming Daily), pictorials, pamphlets, etc. in Chinese which are not available in the United States. Authentic materials which can be used for classroom teaching such as restaurant menus, visitors registration forms, documents in Chinese marriage law, property law, adoption law, were also collected for the purpose of future Chinese projects.
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