Teaching plan for first year undergraduates

There will be five types of language class, to include a grammar class, a texts class, a spoken Chinese class, a laboratory class, and tutorials (not for MPhil students). These classes will be based on learner-centred teaching principles, but more emphasis will be placed on speaking and listening skills, in order to prepare the students for China.

Grammar practice class (two hours a week in a group of no more than 18 students)

The class will be taught in a similar way to the present one. Every week, before attending the class, students are expected to study the grammar notes on the CTCFL website and to complete the weekly assignments, which will then be marked by the instructor before the class, where problems that have arisen in the assignments can then be dealt with. The teaching of all basic Chinese grammar items will be completed by the end of Hilary Term, leaving Trinity Term free for the following.

  1. Practise speaking and writing sentences using correct basic grammar
  2. Introduction to Chinese linguistics

Language laboratory class (three/two hours a week in a group of no more than 18 students)

The language laboratory class will boost students’ listening and speaking skills. Students will be given listening and speaking assignments for the laboratory class. The objectives of the new laboratory class will include the following.

  1. Michaelmas Term: dedicated to laying the foundations for good listening and speaking skills.

a.       Grasping the pronunciation and intonation of Mandarin

b.      Using vocabulary from the textbook in authentic dialogues, in order to improve students’ responsiveness and fluency.

  1. Hilary Term: three more types of language exercise will be introduced (listening comprehension, interpreting, and explaining concepts in Chinese).

a.       The listening comprehension exercises are designed to enhance skills in aural information processing, information prioritising, and the registering of information when listening.

b.      The interpreting exercises are designed to improve students’ responsiveness and overall language proficiency (especially as regards register/style, paraphrasing, and colloquial usage).

c.       Explaining concepts in Chinese will help students to become more familiar with the use of synonyms, antonyms, and giving examples in Chinese, and will teach them to form more complete sentences in spoken Chinese. They will also improve students’ interpersonal communication skills.

  1. Trinity Term: a topic-based programme, Multimedia role play for Chinese, will be available on the CTCFL website from Oct 2010 as part of the final preparations for the year abroad. The laboratory sessions will be used to consolidate students’ communication skills. This programme will achieve the following three objectives.

a.       Improve the accuracy and fluency of students’ spoken Chinese

b.      Enable students to communicate effectively in Chinese in given situations

c.       Familiarise the students with a Chinese language environment

Text and Vocab class (one hour a week in a small group of no more than 8 students)

This class will be conducted in a similar way to the present one, which deals with word recognition and other reading skills. A detailed teaching plan can be viewed on the CTCFL website.

Students are expected to prepare the following before attending the class.

1.      Words recognition for the relevant texts

2.      Pronunciation and intonation of these words

3.      The texts and Ch-E translations on the CTCFL website

Instructors are expected to teach the following.

1.      Explain the relevant information for each character in the vocabulary list, including the radicals and other components of the characters

2.      Explain any cultural references in the texts and vocabulary

3.      Make sure students’ pronunciation and intonation are accurate, and that the reading aloud is fluent

After completing the textbooks in Trinity Term, this class will be used for revision and practice for the written examination.

 Spoken Chinese (oral) class (one hour a week in a small group of no more than 9 students)

This class will be taught in a similar way to the present one, which deals with speaking skills, and will provide opportunities for students to apply the words and sentence constructions that they have learned in everyday situations. The following skills will be taught in the class.

1.      Responsiveness and turn-taking

2.      Pronunciation in connected speech

3.      Fluency in conversations

4.      Explaining words in Chinese

 Language tutorials (one hour a week in pairs. Only for undergraduates)

These tutorials will be conducted in coordination with the texts language class, the spoken Chinese class, the language laboratory class and the grammar class, but they will mostly focus on writing skills such as: 

1.      Character writing for both simplified and full forms, including the teaching of radicals and stroke orders

2.      Composition of sentences and passages

3.      Solving problems that cannot be dealt with in other classes