Experiences of Year Abroad in China



Partners and collaborators

Ying Peng (East Asian Studies)


The project aims to explore the Year Abroad experiences of students of Mandarin Chinese tracking expectations and preparation prior to departure, during Year Abroad, and on return, cross-comparing lingustic, cultural and personal challenges and effects on plurilingual development and academic progress.


The project aims to inform students, teachers and institutions how to help students make the most of their time abroad in China during their language degree.

Publications and outputs

Learners are routinely expected to memorise characters individually using flashcards or other repetition activities (Shen 2005) but it is not fully understood how learners transform such visual memorisation activities into a workable vocabulary store, e.g. to help build up reading fluency. Nor do we yet know in detail the links between visual and linguistic cognitive processes involved in character learning, which could help inform the debate whether vocabulary should be learned  first by oral/aural input supported by pinyin, or whether characters can support word learning from the start (Everson 2008).