ERIC Number: ED366216
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Towards a Theory of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
A "dynamic priority" theory of Chinese second language instruction is outlined and discussed. The theory focuses on five aspects of language instruction: spoken vs. written language; universality vs. particularity; cultural vs. linguistic tasks; performance vs. competence; and proficiency vs. achievement. A dynamic relationship is seen between the two components of each aspect, with instructional priority, in terms of both sequence and amount of time devoted, assigned to one component over the other. "Dynamic" suggests that the component receiving priority varies in different stages of learning. In early instruction, priority is given to spoken Chinese, with written language receiving attention later. Universality (common formal features shared by all languages) has priority over particularity (features unique to Chinese) in all stages of instruction. Linguistic tasks have priority over cultural tasks in early stages of instruction, with cultural tasks taking precedence at the advanced level. Performance (language use) is prominent on the instructional agenda from the first day, with competence (knowledge of language structure) taking a lesser role. Finally, proficiency (communication skills in the context of testing) is to be of higher priority than achievement in testing. Implications of these principles for curriculum design, teaching method, material selection, and testing procedures are examined. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (San Antonio, TX, November 19-21, 1993).