Developing Chinese Language Teachers

December 2010 Forum: Literacy Debate and Error Correction

Literacy in the classroom does not mean just reading and writing; it also extends to cultural literacy.  Dr. Tang, who recently returned from teaching in Shanghai, took a break from his sabbatical to share his thoughts on what cultural literacy means to Chinese teachers:


Zijie Hu, NYU graduate and teacher at NEST+M in lower Manhattan, shared her strategies for developing literacy in her middle-school Chinese classroom. Zijie uses strategies gleaned from the balanced literacy approach, used in NYC classrooms to teach literacy skills in English Language Arts, to familiarize her students with Chinese characters and help them begin to read and write in Chinese in meaningful ways. 



Susan Yin Rui and Lisa Lin of the NYS ALBETAC spoke about error correction in the Chinese classroom. They shared a video of Australia's former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, making a speech in Chinese. Forum participants were astonished by his speaking ability, but as we rewatched we began to notice small errors in his pronunciation, etc. The question then became: are these errors more important than the overall fluidity, content, and message of his speech? How does our answer to this question affect our approach to error correction in the classroom? 


The NYS ALBETAC summary of the event is available, with pictures, here.