A Comparative Analysis of English and Chinese Reading: Phonetics, Vocabulary and Grammar

Author: Oleksandra Volodymyrivna Popova

Keywords: Chinese, English, reading skills, reading tactics and strategies, teaching tools

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/elt3.22

The article covers the issues related to the development of reading skills of the students majoring/minoring in English and Chinese (as non-native languages). In the backdrop of linguistic differences between English and Chinese, this action research was conducted to investigate the components of the reading skills, which are to be developed within the
programs. The primary purpose of the article is to analyze the methodological background for teaching Ukrainian students to perceive information from authentic texts. The methods of induction and deduction enabled us to analyze and generalize the theoretical bases for the investigated topic, to systemize the results of the study (the reading tactics and strategies, classification of reading activities). The study was based on focused observation using the register as a tool for data collecting for two semesters each in three groups of third-year students at Ushynsky University. The total sample size was 54. The article presents an analysis of difficulties in reading English and Chinese texts: 1) phonological level – differences in sound pronunciation (English: /T/, /D/ /w/, /N/, /x/, etc.; Chinese: the alveolo-palatal consonants j, q, x; affricates zh, z; consonant r, etc.), the phonetic phenomena (English: nasal plosion, lateral plosion, loss of plosion, assimilation, reduction/elision, etc.; Chinese: tone, erization); 2) lexical level – conversion (in English) and transposition (in Chinese), homonymy, polysemy; 3) grammatical level – the division of lexicon into parts of speech, different word order in English and Chinese sentences, (non)segmentation of English and Chinese syntagms/clauses/compound sentences, use of tenses, etc. The article contains some recommendations for English and Chinese reading classrooms.