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A Study on the Design of Teaching Materials for Intercultural Communication-Focus on Refusal and Request Speech Acts
design of course materials
In the age of the global village, if language learners lack the ability to communicate with those from different cultural backgrounds, misunderstandings and conflicts will subsequently occur during the course of conversation. A portion of analysis of Chinese language teaching material touches upon the idea of intercultural communication, but at present time there is still a lack of dedicated research into the design of such materials. Therefore, my research delves into the principles of designing such intercultural communication-focused materials through a focus on refusal and request speech acts in Chinese, as well as the planning and design of sample materials based on my research. Through the course of my research, I have ascertained the educational needs of Chinese language instructors and learners alike by conducting in-depth interviews with them. At the same time, I reference the results of previous research on the writing of teaching materials and language to sum up the principles behind the planning and design of teaching materials. The results of my research indicate that intercultural communication-focused teaching materials should have four essential ingredients: they are true to life, the use of appropriate forms, incorporate various activities, and are open-ended to allow for the expression of the learner’s own opinions. The corpus of dialogue needs to conform to real-life situations as well as accord with grammar. Furthermore, the content needs to concretely demonstrate the form and characteristics of refusal and request speech acts, and in particular, needs to embody the effect a hierarchical social structure has upon language use. Alongside the content, a short explanation of strategic modes of language use and their cultural implications should also be included. The practice activities of the teaching materials should include observations, interviews, and discussions. These type of experiential and interactive cultural comparison activities can guide learners to reflect upon their own native tongue and culture while studying the target language and culture. In the process, learners can cultivate an awareness of and skill with intercultural communication. In addition, the tasks and activities provided by the teaching materials also need to place the student at the center, to give him the power to plan his own activities and tasks to accomplish.Such tasks and activities are advantageous for the learner to understand on an intellectual level how to conduct intercultural interactions and discussions. My research relies upon the aforementioned principles to provide a template for design course materials; the result will provide a reference for the development of Chinese language teaching materials.
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