ERIC Number: ED461993
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Bringing out Children's Wonderful Ideas in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.
This paper describes one after-school program at the Cambridge Chinese School, dedicated to teaching Chinese literacy to Chinese K-12 students in the Boston, Massachusetts area. In 1998, the school initiated the "Chinese as a Foreign Language" program to cater to the needs of U.S. families with an interest in the Chinese language and culture (foreign language learners, as opposed to second language learners, do not live in the target language environment). Students in the program included adopted Chinese children, children with Chinese immigrant parents, biracial children, and white children with an interest in Chinese. The paper describes one semester of teaching the program, focusing on syllabus design and classroom teaching. The syllabus involved 10 lessons that emphasized: asking permission, people and family, colors, animals, fruits, body parts, and clothing. Each lesson involved 20-minute work periods with breaks in between. The teacher discovered that children had many good ideas as they studied Chinese. They liked to brainstorm and guess about what written Chinese characters meant, and they produced useful ideas in their oral exchanges. The teacher learned the importance of listening to the learners' voices. Artwork (e.g., origami) and games (e.g., jumping rope to count numbers) were very effective in teaching Chinese to these students. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A