Culturally Speaking in Chinese
This project aims to compile materials that focus on teaching Chinese invisible culture and how to perform appropriately in authentic situations. The goal is three fold: 1) To cultivate students’ cross-cultural awareness and competence in general; 2) To help students to understand and explain Chinese norms of behavior and value systems so they can make informed choices when interacting with the Chinese, including in business contexts, or when living and/or working in China; and 3) To improve students’ sociopragmatic competence and language ability in Chinese to an advanced level. The target audience of the final product would be high- intermediate and advanced level of Chinese L2 learners and people who interact with the Chinese regularly or who plan to live and/or work in China.
Chinese Short Stories/Literature Circles
I have been using literature circle activities for teaching Chinese short stories to higher-level Chinese classes. The benefits of literature circles include 1) providing ample opportunities for four-skill integration and more/fair opportunities for students to talk in the target language, 2) offering an excellent milieu and effective tool for meaningful interaction and mediation, 3) setting an appropriate platform for language modeling and culture teaching, and 4) helping the students become responsible and skillful readers and gain stronger motivation. Literature circles are seldom used in second/foreign language teaching contexts. The success of this project present promising future of the application of this teaching technique in other foreign language classrooms. For lower-level classes, for example, depending on specific student population, teaching goals, and resources available, readings and discussions can be done in students’ L1 or bilingually. What’s more, the roles can be modified as well according to the content and the aim of the lesson. If the teacher wants to draw students’ attention to vocabulary or grammar, the roles such as Vocabulary King and Grammar King can be created. If literary aspects of a reading need to be emphasized, some roles such as Literary Enricher (whose job is to develop the characters, plot, or the writing style in the reading) and Author Reflector (whose job is to assume the role of the author and modify/change some parts of the reading) can be explored. Role flexibility is one of the beauties of literature circles and teachers can be creative according to the different situations in different classrooms.
M-ToPP (Mandarin Tone Perception and Production)
I am one of the co-principal investigators for M-ToPP project. Our research team aims to work on an innovative way for Mandarin tone learning and ultimately produce an app based on our experiment findings.