Foxconn Hon Hai Group's Chairman Terry Gou signed a Memorandum of Understanding with President of NTU Dr. Si-chen Lee in the morning of October 9th, in which the Yon-ling Social Welfare Charity Foundation pledged to donate N.T. 200 million to NTU to implement the "Caring for life, and Loving Animals" charity program. At the same time, President Lee also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Taipei County Magistrate Mr. Hsi-Wei Chou.
Both President Si-chen Li(third from right)and Vice President George Tai-Jen Chen (second from right) attended the presentation ceremony. They expressed tremendous interest toward the functions of "NTU Chinese" software as demonstrated by Professor Lin-Shan Lee.
The core technology of "NTU Chinese" integrates the Chinese phonetic signal processing and analysis techniques developed by Dr. Lin-shan Lee and his research team over the years. Such core technology enables the computer to evaluate the correctness of the learners' enunciation from their pronunciations, their tones (four tones), their rhythms, and their accents. Moreover, it can provide instant assessment of every word and every sound uttered (including vowels, consonants, and intonation) to see if the learner has any bias, and offer on-line diagnosis and correction. At the end of every learning phase, the software can even provide a deductive "diagnosis of learning records", informing the suggestions learners directions for improvement to the learners. In sum, "NTU Chinese" software" can achieve real-time and comprehensive two-way interactivity which is not available in other Chinese teaching softwares. It works better than if a real person was teaching the course.
In addition to voice demonstration, practice, and diagnosis, "NTU Chinese" can even display three dimensional animations of the mouth shapes for pronunciation, vividly portraying the correct method for pronouncing every sound, and assisting the learners in understanding their errors and improving them. All these techniques have been integrated into a Chinese language teaching software platform, which can be applied to any teaching materials.
Professor Lin-shan Lee devoted himself to Chinese language phonetic data processing for thirty years, and has won many grand prizes in research. He has received the Outstanding Teaching Award of NTU several times. He contends that, since web-based software courses allow the learners to practice on their own ad infinitum, their efficacy is really better than that of the one-on-one course taught by a real teacher.
Besides, the teaching materials used to match "NTU Chinese" software are developed by teachers at NTU's Chinese Language Institute who have accumulated several decades' experience in teaching Chinese. These teaching materials have cutting edge breakthroughs in their design, and adopt multi-dimensionally structured communicative learning methods for various linguistic environments. Based on the theory of "Syntax for teaching a second language," and using communicative functions as its orientation (such as greetings, praise, inquiry, explanation, apology, etc.), these teaching materials construct the basic sentence patterns in different linguistic environments which factor in time, location, people (to elders or friends) , emotions (strongly positive, slightly negative) etc.
According to a linguistic theory, the most effortless way to learn a second language is none other than to make good use of the communicative functions of a language which transcend language barriers (being non language specific). A learner should first grasp the communicative functions of his native tongue, then, by methods of analogy, try to grasp the communicative functions of a second language. Once he masters the communicative functions of the second language which he is learning, he can apply them to various linguistic environments in accordance with his assignment and through repeated trials and errors achieve precision and propriety. In this way the efficiency of learning can be brought to its highest level. This is the basic design concept for "NTU Chinese", i.e., emphasizing the importance of linguistic environments and the communication functions of a language.
"NTU Chinese" creates an web-based environment in which listening, speaking , and dialogue training are of paramount importance to the learners. It induces the learners to speak Mandarin, and provides them with effective and real-time guidance.
"NTU Chinese" software is now available for free trial till the end of September. Learners are welcome to make use of this free offer, and help promote "NTU Chinese" to every part of the world!
Professor Lin Shan Lee's Personal Website: