Difficulties and Expectations of First Level Chinese Second Language Learners

  • Gloria GabbianelliEmail author
  • Agnese Formica
Part of the Educational Linguistics book series (EDUL, volume 31)


The aim of this paper is to highlight the difficulties and expectations of first-level Mandarin Chinese (Throughout the paper, the term Chinese will be used to specifically refer to Mandarin Chinese) as a second language (CSL) learners, as well as to investigate the connections that exist between these factors and the learning process. The respondents who participated in the study include 85 CSL first-level learners, studying at one Italian university and three Italian secondary schools. Data was collected through a survey encompassing the following six areas: aural reception, aural production, reading, writing, grammar and spoken interaction. The influence of beliefs, concerning perceived difficulty on students’ performance, was evaluated using a proficiency test created to adhere to the six areas investigated by the survey. The results revealed that the majority of respondents seemed to be aware that learning Chinese is a long and complex process, while at the same time, students enrolled in long-term language courses declared high achievement expectations. Within the framework of this study, perception of difficulty is especially focused on aural reception, writing and reading ability. The study offers a preliminary investigation on the connections between performance, expectations and perceptions of difficulty in the first-level Chinese language learning process.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies, Cultures, Languages, Literatures, Arts, Media (DISCUI)University of Urbino Carlo BoUrbinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Foreign Languages TeachersIIS Savoia BenincasaAnconaItaly

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