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Curriculum Design of Short-term Intensive Chinese Class for Beginner Level of Vietnamese Learners Planning to Study in Taiwan
Tran, Thuy Tuong Van
Short-term intensive Chinese courses
At present, the largest number of international students in Taiwan is Japanese, while Vietnamese took up the second place. In recent years, many universities in Taiwan promote their English-taught courses in order to meet the challenges posed by globalization. English-taught courses attract more Vietnamese students to come study in Taiwan, but there is yet another problem. Although the medium of instruction in class is English, Vietnamese students still need to use Mandarin to communicate in daily life. Based on the experience of Vietnamese students studying in Taiwan, the author endeavored to design a short-term intensive Chinese course for beginner level Vietnamese learners that can meet with their needs. The course focuses on the basic topics in everyday life, such as the language and cultural problems that the students may come across when they first arrived in Taiwan, and during the period in which they study here. This study employed developmental research, document analysis, and questionnaire survey research as its research methods. It first reviewed some related literature, including the theory of second language acquisition, the teaching theory of short-term intensive courses, the problems encountered by Vietnamese students in their learning of Chinese, and theories related to course design. Secondly, the author administered a questionnaire and summarized students’ needs in their learning of Chinese. Interviews with several Chinese teachers were also conducted to understand more about the difficulties faced by Vietnamese students in the classroom, and the content of different short-term Chinese courses. Afterwards, based on the theories as reviewed, and the information collected from the questionnaire and the interviews, the author came up with a design of a short-term intensive Chinese course that catered to the needs of Vietnamese students at beginner’s level. Lastly, the study concluded with a summary of the research and suggestions for future studies. On the whole, this study confirmed the need for a short-term intensive Chinese course that caters for Vietnamese students who are studying in Taiwan. It is found that the learning of Chinese vocabulary is relatively easy for Vietnamese students, but pronunciation and grammar are more challenging for them. For instance, in pronunciation Vietnamese students often confuse the first and the fourth tone, and they are often not accurate enough in pronouncing the second and the third tone. Moreover, they sometimes mixed up the aspirated and unaspirated consonants too. Targeting the characteristics of Vietnamese students, the author has devised a few teaching activities that are specific to their needs, so as to strengthen their advantages in learning Chinese on the one hand, and on the other hand overcome the difficulties they have to confront; thus emphasis has been put on enhancing their pronunciation, expanding their vocabulary and strengthening their grasp of the grammar.
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