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Teaching materials and authentic language: a report of an action research study


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Wang, YanJun and Ma, Chunmei 2010 , 'Teaching materials and authentic language: a report of an action research study', paper presented at the AARE International Education Research Conference, 29 Nov - 3 Dec 2009, Canberra.

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Chinese has by now been considered an increasingly important global language, and in addition, Chinese online users are rapidly multiplying. It is clear that Putonghua will become more and more essential for online communication and e-commerce. China's growing importance in the increasingly global community gives many foreigners an impetus to learn Chinese. In Australia, Chinese is recognized as one of the fastest growing languages and has one of the largest groups of non-English background speakers. How are we to make full use of this opportunity brought about by the confluence of positive international situations? The tonal language with its characters bearing no resemblance to European scripts makes it one of the most complicated languages in the world to learn. In this context, more efficient and effective ways of learning the language are of vital importance. The goal for teaching Chinese is to train students' ability to apply speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in this language. The development of multiple language skills is needed to teach students Chinese as well as its associated culture. In the field of second language acquisition, the main focus is to cultivate students' communicative competence in real-life situations.

A case study was conducted to examine the significance of teaching authentic materials in a language classroom. Participants from a local college and a university were invited to participate in workshops to experience this flexible and less stressful approach of learning a second language. This paper will discuss the results of the workshops which were twofold, first, to determine whether or not students like this approach; second, if there are differences among the participants as they relate to this pedagogical approach. Finally we draw the conclusion that the implementation of this methodological approach is practical, feasible and enjoyable for the participants. There were differences between these two groups in performance; however, both groups showed that this methodology was helpful in Chinese language learning.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors/Creators:Wang, YanJun and Ma, Chunmei
Keywords: English Education, Literacy and Languages (including TESOL, LOTE and ESL)
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© 2009 the author

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