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Lecture explains study on linguistics

Expert pinpoints difficulties of learning languages

May 2, 2013

By Robert Bray

On Tuesday, April 16, a lecture was conducted in MC 134 on a study known as Contrastive Linguistics also called Contrastive Analysis.

The lecture was held by the organization Cultural Crossings.
Contrastive linguistics is the comparative study of the linguistic system of two languages at variety of levels to identify their similarities and differences.

“The class I teach in Jilin University China is Contrastive Linguistics,” said Dr. Zhu Ronglan, a professor at Cleveland State University who taught a course on English/ Chinese Contrastive Linguistics this semester.

Dr. Ronglan led the lecture and explained how the study helps to generate predictions on areas of learning difficulty of the target language.

Contrastive Analysis takes on two disciplines with the first being Linguistics, having to do with the properties on language and the second being psychology which is related to the nature and process of learning.

The lecture consisted of an overview of Chinese tones, nouns and the order of Chinese grammar.

“There were certain grammar parts that I didn’t know until I took this lecture so I’m really glad I took it,” said Ciara Stevens, an international relations major.

Dr. Antonio Medina Rivera, a spanish professor from the modern languages department said that the approach is advanced because it requires an understanding of both languages.

“You don’t translate or teach the differences, you just teach the structures,” Rivera said.

“I would say this, I mean for me this would be used for a higher level course, especially for somebody who would be teaching,” he said.
Professor Ronglan arrived to Cleveland State University in July of last year and will return to China in August.

For more information on events held by Cultural Crossings, contact Dr. Rivera of the modern languages department at a.medinarivera@csuohio.edu or mailto:crossings@csuohio.edu.