Rethinking language education in Taiwan: A case of English majors’ use of Chinese classifiers in translation

2015 IJRSLL – Volume 4 Issue 4


Yu, Bin-Bin*
Department of Applied Foreign Languages, Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ROC (


This paper aims to bring attention to language education in Taiwan through a case study of English majors’ Chinese proficiency by way of their use of classifiers. Due to the increasing exposure to English learning environments in university, the Chinese proficiency of English learners might be influenced. This study is a first longitudinal investigation into English majors’ use of Chinese classifiers in translation. Chinese classifiers are words that occur in the form of a numeral followed by a classifier before a noun the classifier modifies. The lack of awareness of Chinese classifiers causes a variety of problems in English-Chinese translation. English-majored students under investigation were put to tests during their second and fourth years in university with elicitation materials designed by the researcher. Findings show a similar tendency towards the use of Chinese classifiers for the two tests, even misconceptions of some homophonic classifiers.

Keywords: Chinese; classifiers; first language acquisition; second language acquisition; language learning



*Corresponding Author