The global spread of the teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) is creating demand on educators to diversify their pedagogy in order to be effective in many different educational contexts (Moloney and Xu, 2016). The present study aimed to investigate an effective way to enhance first-year learnersí acquisition of Chinese pronunciation by integrating the e-learning tool "Mastering Mandarin Pronunciation through E-learning" into the teaching of pronunciation. The study was conducted in two phases: analysis of formative and summative assessment tasks, and subsequent questionnaire survey. In general, the tool proved beneficial for students learning Chinese language, especially learning pronunciation at the early stage. The results of assessment tasks demonstrated the studentsí improvement in accuracy on the questions, which were designed to test their abilities in pinyin (Pinyin is a Roman alphabet, diacritical mark notation system that indicates how a character in the Mandarin sound system is pronounced). A total of 23 first-year Chinese language students participated in the survey. The survey results showed that 83% of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that this tool was effective in helping them learn pinyin. Furthermore, the results underscored the importance of mastering pinyin at the early stage of Chinese language learning, both theoretically and practically. The findings further supported the idea that an accurate or at least comprehensible level of pronunciation is a foundation of effective verbal communication (Jenkins, 2004), and indicate that the ability to use pinyin is also an essential tool for enabling written communication via emails, such as through the use of popular pinyin input methods (Department of Education and Training, 2014). Based on the findings, pedagogical implications and directions for further research were also considered. It is worth mentioning that this paper is based primarily on the survey results.
blended learning, pronunciation, Chinese language learning