Soragaki software, the application software for mastering the stroke order of Chinese characters, has been invented for elementary school students to learn both the right stroke order and the form of Chinese characters by tracing over model characters on the screen of the tablet computer with a stylus pen or fingers at three levels. As a result, elementary school students can master not only the stroke order and the form of Chinese characters but also an appropriate way of finishing each stroke.*
Traditionally, the word "Soragaki" means the method used to teach children the correct stroke order and the form of Chinese characters. When translating "Soragaki" into English, one can translate the word as "writing in the sky". As this translation shows, "Soragaki" is a dynamic method to give the discipline of writing Chinese characters to the learners. This time, we made a success in replicating the features of "Soragaki" in a tablet computer. Mastering the correct stroke order leads to the acquisition of the ability to write in a good hand. At the same time, students are likely to study Chinese characters, which are new to them, enjoying without any mental suffering.
This Soragaki software includes all of the Chinese characters that should be learnt in elementary school. Besides that, we made lots of efforts toward showing letters clearly in the same font type as the textbook in order to enable the students to study comfortably. Moreover, the learners will obtain special information about the character such as how to use the character, the motion picture of the stroke order, and the derivation of the character. Each time the learners master the each character, they will get a mark of the flower on the character as a prize. This special prize will surely accelerate students' motivation to learn and finally fill the students' hearts with satisfaction with accomplishment.
*Chinese characters have three types of ways of ending each stroke.
1."Tome" : finishing a stroke with complete stop
2."Hane" : finishing a stroke with a sharp hook
3."Harai" : finishing a stroke smoothly without making rapid stop
- Specific functions of Soragaki software
・ It contains all the Chinese characters that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology formally regards as mandatory in elementary school. The number of the words learnt in each grade is as follows:
1st grade:80 words,2nd grade:160 words,3rd grade:200 words,4th grade:200 words,5th grade:185 words,6th grade:181 words (Total:1006 words)
・ The mandatory characters in each grade can be sorted depending on the pseudo-Chinese reading of each character, stroke count, or the radical of each Chinese character. Therefore, students can freely learn the characters that they want to master.
・ It requires its users to practice Chinese characters at three levels, which guarantees them that they can effectively learn the characters.