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FAQ
1. Why does CCC use difficult characters?
2. Student can recognize the characters in the rhymed text, but could not recognize them when the characters appear in other places. What to do?
3. How many characters should be learnt before starting reading? How to combine character learning with reading practice?
4. Even though students may memorize many characters in a short time, how to prevent them from forgetting afterward?
5. Why should the frequently used characters be learnt firstly?
6. What is locality association?
7. Why many different colors for CCC characters? What do they stand for?
8. Can teenagers above 13 years old or grown-ups use CCC to learn characters?
9. What is the difference between CCC and "Three Character Verse" ?
10. What is "Synchronous Reading" of CCC?
11. What is "Comprehensive Reading" of CCC?
12. Why not learn Pinyin first?
13. Why no illustrations in CCC text?


1. Why does CCC use difficult characters?
Regarding to character recognition difficulties, there are no differences among the characters. But there are differences regarding to writing. Students look at the characters just like look at pictures. The simplicity or complexity of the character strokes has no influence on making students feel easy or not to recognize. Characters with more strokes provide more memorization information and facilitate the differentiation to students. The characters frequently used may be easily recognized, but may not be easy to write. Writing is not the same as recognition. For example, "舞" (dance) is a frequently used character, but it is difficult to write. "卞" (impetuous) is easy to write, but not a frequently used character. Character learning should start from frequently used characters, and writing should begin with characters with less strokes.

2. Student can recognize the characters in the rhymed text, but could not recognize them when the characters appear in other places. What to do?
This is normal, especially at the beginning of learning. The "Transfer" practice is one of the four steps in CCC learning. "Synchronous Reading" and character cards/strips are all to cultivate a student’s "Transfer" ability. By plenty of practice and continuous review, this issue will be solved gradually.

3. How many characters should be learnt before starting reading? How to combine character learning with reading practice?
Reading practice can be started at the first lesson of CCC. Utilize the text book "Synchronous Reading" to practice the characters just learned. After mastering the first 400 characters, students can read some easy primer materials, such as short children’s songs with 2 or 4 sentences; headlines in newspapers, etc. Reading and character learning can be beneficial to each other. After mastering 1000 characters, students can start the independent reading practice with the text books of "Comprehensive Reading”. After mastering 2000 characters and finishing the four volumes of "Comprehensive Reading”, students should be able to read freely.

4. Even though students may memorize many characters in a short time, how to prevent them from forgetting afterward?
Character memorizing is not the goal but a way to reading. Reading capability is the final purpose of character learning. There are 2500 frequently used characters out of 4000 characters in CCC. It requires 2000 characters to reach independent reading ability. Character recognizing and reading practice should be combined through out the learning process. Once the basic vocabulary built up, reading is much easier and enjoyable. And once a person gains the free reading ability, the commonly used characters would not be easily forgotten.

5. Why should the frequently used characters be learnt firstly?
The essence of CCC character learning is to help students to be able to read as quickly as possible. When a person masters 400 of the most frequently used characters, he/she should be able to do some preliminary reading. When a person masters 1000 of the frequently used characters, he/she could understand more than 70% content of any newspapers and books. Therefore, learning the frequently used characters first is the short-cut for student to quickly gain reading ability.

6. What is locality association?
Overall input is the first step toward the goal of independent reading. Because of the overall input, the rhymed text reading is like singing a song. It is easy for learners to memorize the pattern and location of every character in the text. Locality association in subconscious helps student on quick and efficient character recognition and memorization.

7. Why many different colors for CCC characters? What do they stand for?
CCC characters are divided into 6 levels by their usage frequency based on statistics analysis.
  • The Level One is in red, total 800 characters.
  • The Level Two is in pink, total 804 characters.
  • The Level Three is in purple, total 601 characters.
  • The Level Four is in scarlet, total 705 characters.
  • The Level Five is in green, total 595 characters.
  • The Level Six is in blue, total 500 characters.
Students are required to master the level 1-3 of characters and know the level 4-6 characters.

8. Can teenagers above 13 years old or grown-ups use CCC to learn characters?
Yes! The composition of CCC uses adult language. It is suitable for people of any age. CCC project team provides the Commentary of CCC. The Chinese-English bilingual version of the commentary will be published soon. It will help the non-heritage teenagers or grown-ups understand the meanings of the characters, phrases and sentences of CCC.

9. What is the difference between CCC and "Three Character Verse" ?
“Three Character Verse" was composed with rhyme in level and oblique tones and three characters per phrase. It is an ancient enlightenment text book emphasizing on ethic education.
CCC is with four characters per phrase, covering 50 subjects of up-to-date knowledge and no repeated characters. "Three Character Verse" emphasizes on moral norm of words; while "Chinese Character Canon" covers a very comprehensive aspect of knowledge and places more weight on characters' recognition, and the method of reciting from memory.

10. What is "Synchronous Reading" of CCC?
“Synchronous Reading" is supplementary reading material of CCC. CCC contains 50 subjects of knowledge which are the 50 lessons of the textbook. Corresponding to the 50 subjects, "Synchronous Reading" also contains 50 lessons. In each lesson, "Synchronous Reading" contains some frequently used vocabularies, phrases, sentences and short stories on the subject with the CCC characters already learnt. "Synchronous Reading" helps students review and consolidate the characters learnt, and at the same time cultivates and trains their pre-reading capability.
Combining "Synchronous Reading" in the course of CCC learning, the consolidation rate of character recognition will be increased greatly.

11. What is "Comprehensive Reading" of CCC?
Compared to "Synchronous Reading”, "Comprehensive Reading" is for advanced reading practice after students finish learning CCC volume I and II. It is to train and check student’s systematic and independent reading capability. There are 300 articles with more than 300 thousand characters compiled into 4 volumes by the order of complexity. All articles were carefully selected and they pave the road to the free reading. With the completion of each volume, a student’s reading ability jumps to a higher level. Once all four volumes are finished, a student should have mastered all the reading skills for free reading.

12. Why not learn Pinyin first?
There are about 2500 languages in the world. Languages with different natures have different learning methodologies which are not interchangable. Originally, there was no phonics or Pinyin for Chinese language in the history . The alphabetic language systems dominate the world and its impact on modern Chinese language is significant. The learning methodology of Chinese language strayed away from its original path and fell into dilemma.

English is "phonetic language" while Chinese is "hieroglyphic language”. Influenced by English, modern Chinese introduced phonics (Pin Yin) to Chinese language. But Chinese characters has little to do with phonics (Pinyin). Teaching Chinese characters with English’s teaching methodology would certainly bring some problems.
    Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Pinyin:
  • Advantages: Enable students to pronounce any character familiar or not familiar, easy for index search, and more options for Chinese typing, etc.
  • Disadvantages: Students pay more attention on Pinyin than on the characters which makes them rely heavily on Pinyin for reading. For text without Pinyin, they would not be able to recognize the characters even though they may have learnt them by Pinyin. Therefore learning Pinyin first may acturaly hinder the accumulation of vocabulary and reading ability.



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