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The Design of Mandarin Chinese Teaching Material for Beginning Level Russian Middle School Students
Chinese teaching materials
Chinese for children
teaching materials for beginners
In the past few years there has been a rising interest for Chinese language learning worldwide. This phenomenon concerns today’s Russia as well, where adult students have been considered the main focus of Chinese language training, with a consequent lower demand for Chinese language teaching materials and tools especially designed for younger learners. With an interest in exploring the current state of Chinese language materials targeting Russian speaking children, this research first aim is to discuss and analyze the beginner level Chinese language textbooks designed for Russian elementary students which have been published up to now. During the process of designing a Chinese language textbook for children, when deciding both the content and the principles to be used and referred to, it is important to consider the specific characteristics of child language learning and child cognitive development. At the same time, it should also be taken into account that not all the teaching methodologies designed for adult learners are suitable for children. In this respect, this research will discuss some well-known teaching methods, such as the Communicative Approach, the Task-Based Approach, the Total Physical Response Approach, the Audio-lingual Approach and the Grammar-Translation Approach. In order to give a more accurate idea of the learning environment for Russian schoolchildren, this research will also include a description of the Russian education system. Lastly, the author will explore the theoretical ground of textbook design, discussing the theories and principles in modern Linguistics which are considered of great importance for the design of effective teaching materials. Conserning the teaching materials analysis, this research will thoroughly describe and discuss three Chinese textbooks designed and published for Russian children in Russia. The analysis will focus on how the textbooks present the following aspects: teaching content, thematic subjects and situations, vocabulary, language functions and culture. The author will also provide her feedback, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each textbook. Notable feedback worth consideration for the design of these kinds of textbooks has been provided by Chinese lingustic teachers to young Russian learners who were interviewed by the author about what they believe to be the most important and useful characteristics of good language teaching materials. After collecting and analyzing the data, the author wrote the principals of how to design the teaching materials for young Russian learners and designed an example lesson.
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