Developing Chinese Language Teachers

National Chinese Language Conference, 2012

Dr. Frank Tang, Director of the Center for Developing Chinese Language Teachers, Robin Harvey, Coordinator of the Center for Developing Chinese Language Teachers, and two NYU graduates, Shelley Yichun Huang and Yu Sha, made a presentation at the National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC) in Washington DC, on Apr 13, 2012. Their topic was On the Road to Literacy: Big Books and Strategies from the American Classroom.

Often, teaching Chinese literacy means teaching the writing of characters and focuses on stroke order. Although these skills are necessary, true literacy skills go far beyond simply writing characters; teachers must build students’ ability to read, write, and understand meaningful materials and resources, including stories, poems, articles, essays, and websites, as well as their cultural literacy of the Chinese-speaking world. Teachers can find meaningful activities in the English language arts curriculum by which our students learn reading and writing in their first language. Adapting these teaching techniques provides a literacy-rich context in which students apply familiar strategies from their core classes to the learning of Chinese. “Big Books” are a popular tool for teaching reading in the American school system. In this session, participants will learn how to adapt this and other, time-tested techniques for teaching literacy skills in Chinese.