Methods of Teaching Chinese

Evolution and Emerging Trends

Authored by: Haidan Wang

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Language Teaching

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138097940
eBook ISBN: 9781315104652
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the methodological evolution of teaching Chinese as a second language (TCSL), focusing on the practice in the US and China. Through examining the history of teaching Chinese to non-native speakers, this chapter chronologically identifies the methods used in major periods, summarizes the key features of the methods, and reveals the rationales behind the practices based on theoretical research with reference to the typological characteristics of Chinese language and culture. In addition, the design of systematic curricula at the college level is also critically reviewed in order to present general principles in the material and curriculum development specified for Chinese. It discovers that the field of Chinese teaching is relatively conservative and is cautious about joining the pedagogical revolution embodied by mainstream foreign-language education, despite diversified method use in TCSL. Based on the past development and current trajectory, TCSL is predicted to continue integrating promising new approaches and techniques into existing instructional practice. This field is also likely to build a more comprehensive understanding of its own methodologies through vigorous research on Chinese acquisition. At the same time, new technologies will increasingly support TCSL, and will be adopted by TCSL practitioners with prudence but growing enthusiasm.

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