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ERIC Number: ED554691
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 288
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-5084-8
Concept-Based Foreign Language Pedagogy: Teaching the Chinese Temporal System
Lai, Wei
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The dissertation investigates the effect of a concept-based approach to teaching the Chinese temporal system to English-speaking university learners at the elementary level. The pedagogical framework, Systematic-Theoretical Instruction (STI), adopted in this study was proposed by Piotr Gal'perin and originated from Vygotsky's sociocultural theory (SCT) of consciousness. The foundational principle of STI is that well-organized education can promote mental development if it provides learners with appropriate mediation in the form of concrete cognitive tools and step-by-step guidance. Given its complexity the Chinese temporal-system was chosen as the unit of instruction. The figurative meaning and grammatical functions of Chinese temporal expressions and selected aspect markers (zhe, le, and le...le) were presented in the form of visual schemata (SCOBAs) as a means for learners to regulate their mental actions during the learning process. The concept-based instruction not only provided learners with the meaning of the target grammatical unit, but also provided step-by-step guidance for learners to develop the target grammatical concept. The teaching experiment spanned eight weeks. Statistical analyses of performance on written tasks (translation and essay) by three different groups of CFL learners were conducted. The experimental group and control group 1 were at the elementary level and were taught by the researcher of the present study. Control group 2 was at the intermediate level and taught by other instructors. Analyses revealed that the experimental group outperformed control group 1 and performed no differently (no statistical difference) from the more advanced control group 2. Qualitative analyses were also carried out on the tasks completed by the experimental group. A questionnaire was also administered to the experimental group at the end of the instructional period in order to investigate learners' response to the innovative teaching approach and their learning progress. Qualitative analyses indicated that as the instructional program progressed, participants exhibited improvement in terms of efficiency, correctness and consistency of performance on the relevant tasks. The findings suggest that a coherent and organized pedagogical presentation can enhance learners' development. In addition, complicated grammatical concepts regarded more suitable for advanced learners can be taught to novice learners when the concepts are presented as meaningful units in a coherent and systematic way. This study also offers implications on current foreign language pedagogical practices, especially in the field of teaching Chinese as a foreign language, in terms of renovation of grammar instruction, development of teaching material, curriculum design and learner development. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A