Chinese Language Standards of Primary and Secondary Texts
China and Singapore Compared
Keywords:Chinese, Second Language, Readability, Standard
Chinese is taught as a second language in Singapore, taking up 15–20% of curriculum time in primary and secondary schools and without the support of the other subjects in the curriculum. The notion of a two-year difference with Chinese as a first language is common but with no official documentation. This study aims to verify the standard gap between Chinese as a first language in China and as a second language in Singapore, using samples of texts of the two countries. It was found that Primary 1 texts of China are equivalent to Primary 3 in Singapore in terms of readability, based on a newly developed readability formula. The gap gets gradually wider at the primary level but fast widening and erratic at the secondary level. Probably causes and implications are discussed.
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