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An Analysis of the Selection and Sequencing of Grammar Points in Elementary Mandarin Chinese Textbooks
Teng Shou- Hsin
elementary Mandarin Chinese textbooks
A great Chinese textbook will greatly enhance non-native speakers’ learning experience in the classroom. What constitutes a good textbook is the sensible sequence of its content, which concerns the arrangement of vocabulary, sentence structure, and situational conversations. These three elements must be coordinated in such way that reinforces one another. The selection and sequencing of grammar points is of particular significance which determines the success of a textbook. This study aims to research elementary Mandarin Chinese textbooks from Taiwan, the United States, and mainland China in an objective manner through surveys and comparative analyses, thereby identifying their respective features, strengths, and weaknesses in terms of the selection and sequencing of grammar points. The textbooks discussed in this paper refer to those intended for foreign language learners, namely, native English speakers who do not grow up in a target language environment and who acquire Mandarin Chinese as a second language. Basing on theoretical foundation as laid out in relevant studies concerning grammar points’ explanation, usage, selection, and sequencing, as well as the characteristics of pedagogical grammar and principles for sequencing grammar points proposed by Teng Shou-hsin, this paper examines three sets of elementary Mandarin Chinese textbooks, including the latest edition of Practical Audio-Visual Chinese, Integrated Chinese, and New Practical Chinese Reader. This paper looks into how the three textbooks segment, select, and sequence grammar points, and further discusses their distribution, format, and content of grammar points. It is hoped that the findings of this study will provide authors of teaching materials as well as teachers with valuable reference on the selection and sequencing of grammar points in elementary Mandarin Chinese textbooks.
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