What is the best Chinese language pedagogy program?

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Gokunut716's picture
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Hello. I am applying for graduate study in Chinese language pedagogy and literature. So far, I have determined that the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Ohio State are the two best programs. However, if I don't get accepted to one of these, I want to know of some other graduate programs. I need more intensive language study, and I hope to teach at the college and maybe high school levels. Any ideas??

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CLE-Serena (not verified)
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lilysmile's picture
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Joined: 01/07/2010

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mmxuhuimm's picture
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kurtinchina's picture
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Joined: 09/12/2009

That is an interestin question. Chinese as a second language is a relatively new field and people are just starting to think about how it should be taught. Chinese have a learning style where they memorize things for future use and this isn't the preferred learning style of a lot of western people. The Asians in my Chinese classes did well on the written material, but weren't very active in speaking classes. That is where the westerners shined. They immediatly start experimenting with various words and grammar structures so they can use it for speaking.

Since Chinese involves so much more than a letter based language, and the grammar is so easy, it needs a different approach. I have developed a combination of topics and grammar based approaches to try to make the language as easy as possible. It seems that no one has explained the basics very well. For instance, the character 了, is not that hard to grasp - if learners have a complete explanation. When I studied in school, I had to wait for a long time just to understand why the guy at the bus stop said "车来了“ when the bus had not arrived yet. We were not taught anything but the most common function which is "completed action" . These questions led me to write the book that I have on line now. Have a look at www.chineseocw.com and tell me what you think about the approach. I find it works for Westerners who haven't been exposed to Chinese before.

athelas's picture
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Joined: 01/21/2009

I hope you get into either one of those since those would also be my first 2 choices, with Manoa #1. In looking into universities, check out the professors themselves--their publications, their courses, their research interests. You can even call and chat with them about methods and materials. And then, wherever you end up, do your homework and then study however works best for you.

For me, reading is the best independent study method. I bought hundreds of picture books, children's and youth books in both Taiwan and China. I read one without using the dictionary at all, and believe me it is hard to not use it! After just reading it, and actually being able to get a lot of the gist of the story, I then study it. That means I read it again with the dictionary, writing down every single new word, looking it up and finding other combinations of the characters that I do know, or that are interesting. Takes forever! But after studying it that way, I then read it again, and then a few more times until I know the characters.

I know that I will forget some of the characters or words, but that's okay. When you meet the characters in another book, and look them up again you will have your "oh yeah!" moments and begin to remember the words. It is also okay if you have started memorizing lines in the book.

I would be interested to know where you do end up!

caisadmin's picture
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Have you looked into the Chinese Bilingual Teaching program at Loyola Marymount University? If teaching is your end goal, this may be a program for you to consider.