Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 56 | 2020 > Etymological Elaboration in Chéngyǔ 成语 Teaching

Etymological Elaboration in Chéngyǔ 成语 Teaching

The Role of Opacity, Type of Instruction, and Competence Level

Sergio Conti    Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Italia    



As a sub-type of Chinese idioms, chengyu 成语 play an important role in Chinese teaching. This study tested the effectiveness of etymological elaboration in relation to the type of instruction (direct or indirect), the degree of transparency of the chengyu, and the participants’ proficiency level. 48 post-elementary and 53 pre-intermediate learners were divided into three groups, one control and two experimental groups. The experimental groups attended to a 30-minute treatment, then a post-test was submitted to all the participants. Statistical and qualitative analysis revealed that indirect instruction was significantly more effective than direct instruction, independently from the participants’ competence level, and that opaque chengyu were more easily retained than transparent chengyu.

June 30, 2020
May 24, 2020
Feb. 6, 2020

Keywords: ChengyuIdiom teachingChinese as a foreign languageFormulaic sequencesChinese idiomsEtymological elaboration

Copyright: © 2020 Sergio Conti. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.