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Department of Linguistics

Chinese Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy

Course Code:
Unit value:

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following abilities:

  • an ability to understand key issues in Chinese language pedagogy and critically analyse Chinese teaching methodologies, practices and materials
  • an ability to carry out independent research into Chinese teaching methodologies, practices and materials
  • an ability to apply academic analysis of Chinese language pedagogy directly onto the practice of teaching Chinese in the language classroom
  • an ability to teach Chinese in different approaches, e.g. communication-based, grammar-translation approach, and discuss and reflect on such teaching experiences


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 3 hours classroom contact per week.  Two hours will be spent in lectures and one hour will be spent discussing teaching observation, preparing for teaching practice and mock teaching.  

A further 2 - 3 hours in total  each term will be spent on teaching observation which will include supervised teaching practice of undergraduate students.

Scope and syllabus

The course will provide the language-specific pedagogy component to the Chinese pathway of the MA in Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy. Since both general pedagogical issues and topics in Chinese linguistics are dealt with elsewhere in the program (in the “Language Pedagogy” and “Topics in the structure of Chinese” modules respectively), this course will focus specifically on teaching and learning issues in the Chinese language classroom. Particular importance will be placed, on the one hand, on areas of the Chinese language that pose particular problems to language learners and, on the other hand, on areas where Chinese language pedagogical practices require further development in order to address the needs of learners.

Week-by-week plan (Lectures)

Term 1

Week 1: Applied Chinese phonology and Pinyin teaching
Week 2: Transcription system & Character simplification
Week 3: Script teaching: theory and practice
Week 4: Topic discussion: Semantics & vocabulary teaching
Week 5: Sociolinguistics and Chinese teaching
Week 6: Reading week
Week 7: General review: Issues on Teaching Chinese as foreign Language
Week 8: Listening: teaching & assessment
Week 9: Speaking: teaching & assessment
Week 10: Reading: teaching & assessment
Week 11: Writing: teaching & assessment

Term 2

Week 1: Curriculum design & Lesson plan
Week 2: Textbook review and analysis
Week 3: Inter- language theory and error analysis
Week 4: Classroom management & activities: good practice
Week 5: Chinese teaching and CAI & internet
Week 6: Reading week
Week 7: Research topic discussion: Syntax (1)
Week 8: Research topic discussion: Syntax (2)
Week 9: Teaching culture
Week 10: Learner autonomy
Week 11: Reflective teaching

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%); one essay of 2,000 words to be submitted on Friday, week 1, term 2 (10%); one essay of 2,000 words to be submitted on Friday, week 1, term 3 (10%); teaching practice made up of (a) small assignments on each main topic covered, (b) 20 hours class observation and discussion, (c) 8-10 hours teaching assistant practice, (d) teaching practice, including teaching material development;  teaching plan design, teaching delivery and teaching reflection (30%).