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Chinese Reading and Writing: Curriculum Design and Implementation--An Action Reaserch on Chinese Heritage Students from America and Europe
|Abstract:||美國近年研究發現教育制度內的外語教育不符合傳承語言的學生(Heritage Students)的需求，他們受到了傳承語言(Heritage Language)和文化的薰陶，具有不同於一般外語學習者的能力。因此，近年針對傳承語言學生的教學方式及內容逐漸受到專家學者的重視。華語在美國亦屬於傳承語言，很多華裔學習者的語言背景可能是他們在校學習華語文時的助力，也可能在現有的教學制度及教學模式下成為他們學習的阻力。如何善用華裔學習者已具備的語言能力優勢，透過適性的教學模式，來迅速提升他們整體語言能力是本研究的重點。
Studies in recent years have found that foreign language curricula in the US education system fail to meet the needs of heritage students. Influenced by their heritage language and culture, these students possess skills different from other foreign language learners thus drawing scholarly attention to teaching materials and methods regarding heritage language students. Chinese is considered a heritage language in the US, where many heritage learners of Chinese have an advantage in schools due to their linguistic background. However, this linguistic background might also become a learning impediment under the existing education system and teaching model. The main purpose of this study is to explore how to harness the linguistic advantages of heritage learners and, through appropriate teaching models, quickly improve their comprehensive language skills. This study conducts action research using as subjects heritage learners that can speak and comprehend Chinese but cannot read or write. The most suitable and effective curriculum is designed according to the special reading and writing needs of these heritage students. First, information on the characteristics of heritage learners and their learning difficulties is gathered and analyzed. Based on the analysis results, a preliminary test is conducted. A teaching curriculum suited to the needs of heritage students can then be designed and implemented based on the outcome of the preliminary test. After implementing the curriculum for two terms, this study proposes the following suggestions with regard to teaching. 1) Teaching of language knowledge: (a) systematically present the six types of Chinese characters, character radicals and components to equip students with strategies for memorizing Chinese characters; (b) combine reading and writing, incorporate designed reading pedagogy strategies into the language classroom, and repeatedly use these strategies. After reading input, assess the language output abilities of students by having them write reflections. 2) Use computers as teaching aids: a computer may be used for repeated drills and diversity in designing content suitable for a variety of learners, while concurrently developing students’ ability to type Chinese. 3) Comprehensive language in practice: assign language-based tasks to students to expand their range of language use. Such tasks allow students to move from passive, cognitive learning to a comprehensive ability of expression, thereby attaining the ultimate goal of learning a language – communication with others.
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