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Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Institute for Chinese Studies

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Purpose of Project

Over two years, from 2000 to 2002, within the framework of the FDTL 3 programme of the Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund, Oxford's Institute for Chinese Studies has developed an experimental approach to non-intensive teaching of Mandarin Chinese. It goes counter to conventional teaching strategies by isolating particular skills and focusing a teaching programme exclusively upon each one. The aim has been to learn through experience how much can be achieved with volunteer beginners in each distinct skill, and to devise materials which can contribute flexibly to teaching or learning regimes serving individual needs. The four-phase project has dealt with three basic skills – reading, speaking, listening – followed by the needs of native Cantonese speakers embarking on spoken Mandarin. In each case a pedagogical specialist from China, Taiwan or Hong Kong has spent a month in Oxford developing material, and a student-teacher from China or Taiwan has spent four months in Oxford working with a class of volunteers. Achievements and results have been monitored through systematic testing, and the whole programme kept under regular review at the national level by a seminar of professional Chinese language teachers.

Online sampling of teaching materials:

Reading

Listening