Some Perspectives of Language Learners and Teachers on the Short Course in Chinese Language and Culture
Citation:Carson, Lorna, Ning Jiang, Mengqi Zhou and John Egan, Some Perspectives of Language Learners and Teachers on the Short Course in Chinese Language and Culture, Dublin, CLCS, Trinity College Dublin for the Post-Primary Languages Initiative, 2019
The Chinese Language and Culture short course is experienced by this sample of Junior Cycle students as an enjoyable, useful and engaging programme. Students demonstrated high language learning motivation towards Chinese, correlated with their interest in learning other languages. Students tended to favour the cultural aspects of their lessons over language learning content. Spoken and written production in Chinese was identified as an aspect in need of further development. Less than half of the students reported being able to write some basic Chinese characters. Teachers reported difficulties experienced by students in producing or identifying Chinese characters. All teachers identified a lack of sufficient Chinese language input modelled by the teacher as well as the need for more tasks which foster student production. The lessons observed demonstrated a lack of opportunities for student-to-student interaction. Some variety in teaching methods was observed. Approximately half of the teachers provided opportunities for collaboration in the classroom. A whole-class approach was the most common method used. Teachers followed a similar pattern of instructional activities, characterised by a review of the previous lesson’s work, introduction of new content, and a focus on culture towards the end of the lesson. Instruction through the medium of English occurred in almost all of the classrooms; only one lesson was delivered bilingually in English and Mandarin. A range of age-appropriate activities and materials was used, appropriate for students’ proficiency levels in Chinese, although a lack of visible Chinese language resources was noted in the classrooms observed. Teachers deployed a range of digital tools in their lessons. Learning outcomes tended to be grouped within Strand 1 (Myself, my family and friends) of the course’s four strands, focussing on, e.g. basic greetings, introductions and numbers. Most teachers reported lack of prior formal training and experience of teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language before teaching the short course. Teacher engagement with the short course specification and strands was varied. Several good practices in assessment were observed.
Commissioned by Post-Primary Languages Ireland/Department of Education and Skills
Publisher:CLCS, Trinity College Dublin for the Post-Primary Languages Initiative
Type of material:Report
Availability:Full text available