The Effects of Hand Gestures and Traditional Methods of Teaching Mandarin Chinese Tones
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teaching Mandarin Chinese lexical tones with accompanying hand gestures versus traditional methods of teaching Mandarin Chinese tones. The sample for this single-subject research consisted of one student drawn from an introductory Mandarin Chinese class. The student was a 12-yearold Caucasian female from an upper-middle class family living in rural Northeast Tennessee. The student had no background in learning Mandarin Chinese. Data were collected using A-B-A-B design. After baseline was established for the subject by a native Chinese speaker, interventions began. The student was taught using Chinese lexical tone hand gestures. During this time, lexical tone production was assessed. Following intervention was the withdrawal phase (B) and the subject was assessed on lexical tone production. The following phase, (A) was reintroduced and the student was assessed. The final phase (B) was the withdrawal phase and the student was also assessed.The results indicated significant improvements on interventions compared with withdrawal phases. These results suggest that use of hand gestures while teaching Mandarin Chinese tones significantly improves Mandarin Chinese lexical tone production accuracy, including pitch range and pitch contour as opposed to traditional methods of teaching Mandarin Chinese tones.