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Chinese Curriculum Design for Foreign Students—A Case of College Pre-sessional Course
Chinese for academic purposes
teaching Chinese as a second language
In recent years, the number of overseas students studying Chinese in Taiwan stands approximately 10,000, and about 100,000 in China. Among these students, 5 to 6 thousand stay behind to complete their degrees in Taiwan. Foreign students typically possess solid fundamental understanding of the language and relative knowledge prior to departing to study abroad. But with the lack of proper teachings by professional personnel, it is common to see many of the overseas students run into difficulties during their studies, whether it is in regards to picking up the languages, cultural differences, or adapting to the living conditions. If overseas students were to directly enroll in Taiwan’s educational institutions, these critical factors often cause distress, undermining the student’s ability to complete their course studies. Focused on curriculum design, this thesis intends to investigate unique characteristics of the Chinese language, and take advantage of these factors in designing a more efficient coursework program for students. In theory, the process of designing coursework begins by employing standard unit allocations based on standard minimum requirements to allow for a sound and effective course. This then followed by assessment of teaching methods in foreign countries in the subject of the English language, and highlight specific key elements in their course design process. Lastly, carrying out research on the fundamentals of the Chinese language as the basis of discussion in this research paper. In practice, surveys and interviews are designed and conducted to understand student and teacher needs as well as related trends in the field of language studies. This knowledge is then used to systematically develop a complete coursework plan. After the research and practical designing, the researcher came to three conclusions. First, coursework should be designed from the view of communicative approach, to outline coursework based on the needs analyzed and to deliver courses that are student-centered. Second, in regard to teachers, they should understand students’ needs and accept different opinions and be able to facilitate exchange of views. Third, in regard to students, this coursework can improve their overall Chinese language skills prior to departing to study aboard and their academic research skills. This would help them to adapt to the Chinese learning environment quicker and lead to a sound attitude towards research. Although, there are still many difficulties and deficiencies on the development of language course for academic purposes, many university teachers believe that “It is so beneficial for those students who can participate in advanced language course”. Therefore, language courses for academic purposes are not only feasible but it is also worth to develop and plan.
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