Category Archives: Language Pedagogy

Using Reciprocal Peer Coteaching to developing learner autonomy: an action research project with a beginners’ Chinese class

Weiming Liu & Ann Devitt

Abstract

Peer teaching has been used as a mechanism for promoting learner autonomy within a range of language learning contexts. This paper explores how absolute beginners in a Chinese class can engage in reciprocal peer coteaching from the start of their language learning experience and how this contributes to aspects central to the development of learner autonomy as well as to improving their linguistic competence in Chinese. Reciprocal peer coteaching entails students collaborating in teaching teams to teach their peers, with all students taking a turn acting as peer teacher and peer learner, during a short beginners course in Chinese. The study was conducted as an action research project in three cycles with data derived from students’ reflective language learning journals. The findings suggested that the cooperative and challenging activity of reciprocal peer coteaching served to build individual responsibility and motivation for learning while at the same time developing group solidarity in the classes, both of which served to promote the autonomy of learners within the class group.

Keywords: Motivation, Chinese Language, Learner Autonomy, Reciprocal peer coteaching

Tagged , , ,

The creation of an active learning context for a Chinese class

Mr Weiming Liu & Dr Ann Devitt

Abstract

Research suggests that coteaching contains two dimensions. The first dimension shows that two or more people teach together to meet students’ needs. This dimension demonstrates a process of transmission of knowledge from coteachers to students and points out coteachers’ joint responsibility for students’ learning. The second dimension indicates that coteachers share valuable ideas with each other and help each other to deliver successful coteaching sessions. This dimension emphasises the importance of coteachers’ collaboration during their preparation for coteaching and their implementation of coteaching. A beginners’ Chinese course was organised at a School of Education in an Irish University. The current qualitative research study focused on the coteaching sessions which accounted for about 20% of the Chinese classroom activities. Students were divided into groups and required to conduct coteaching in turn in the form of revision. Coteachers shared leadership and responsibilities within coteaching groups. Included in the data sources in the current study were students’ weekly reflective journals and final group reports. This study explores the impact of coteaching on the process of students’ language learning, in particular whether coteaching can encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and the learning of others, and if it can help to increase their level of subject knowledge.

Keywords: Coteaching, Chinese Language, Learner Autonomy, the ZPD

Tagged , , ,

Activating empathy: Language teacher education through a Chinese course

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

Abstract

The qualitative research project reported here provided a description of part of a language teacher education programme. The role of empathy was emphasised as an attribute in 16 trainee-teachers’ professional development through a Chinese language taster course. Chinese was chosen as an exotic language. Peer teaching was implemented in order to maximise trainee-teachers’ engagement in the course. The project was designed to increase trainee-teachers’ awareness of their school pupils’ learning activities and strengthen their attachment to their pupils. Trainee-teachers’ empathetic development involved their motivational reasoning, affective empathy and cognitive empathy. Data sources in the current paper included student weekly reflective journals and final group reports. The authors attempted to attest the activation of empathy as an approach to language teacher education and examine the rationale for choosing Chinese in such a setting. The results from this project also suggested the possibility of creating contexts in which Chinese language teachers may exercise their empathetic dispositions.

Keywords: Empathy, Peer Teaching, Chinese Language, Language Teacher Education

Retreating Figure by Zhu Ziqing (《背影》朱自清)

This vedio clip was welcomed by a group of fourth year students when the analysis on ‘Retrating Figure’ (背影) took place. Their feedback was that they managed to understand the text but certain words and phrases hindered their understanding. Personally, I thought this clip was very good and helpful as well. But when showing students a clip like this, we may need to make sure that they are not completely restricted by the given resources.

The role of students in a power sharing context: A study of the development of a Chinese teacher’s identity

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

Abstract

The study reported here introduced an action research project on the enforcement or reconstruction of different aspects of a Chinese classroom teacher’s identity as a teacher. The project was carried out over a period of three years. Classroom power relations were central to this research project. They were represented by the collaboration between the teacher and students, and between students. As an essential component of the project, students carried out both peer teaching and made on-going reflection on the teacher’s teaching. Data sources included student weekly reflective journals and final group reports. The authors hoped to explore the teacher’s professional development and propose the possibility to optimise other Chinese teachers’ contribution to language classes in collaboration with their students.

Keywords:ClassroomPower Relations, Peer Teaching, Teacher Identity, Action Research

Autonomous learners and transformative practitioners: the implementation of peer teaching in a language teacher training course (abstract)

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

The study reported here was conducted as part of a programme of initial teacher education for post-primary modern language (ML) teachers at the School of Education, Trinity College in Dublin. The ML programme requires that the student teachers (STs) learn an exotic language, which is currently represented by a five weeks’ Chinese language course. The rationale for this Chinese course is to help STs to gain a better understandings of their pupils’ learning process. Peer teaching has been adapted into different schemes over the last few decades. Collaborative peer teaching (CPT) supports and maximises the engagement of all students in their learning process. In 2011, CPT was implemented throughout the Chinese course. STs were required to write both weekly reflective journals and final reports, from which the data of this study are collected. This paper introduces how CPT was implemented in this context, and aims to find out the significance of its implementation in terms of both STs’ personal development as autonomous learners and their professional development as transformative practitioners.

Keywords: Language Teacher Training, Peer Teaching, Learner Autonomy, Transformation

Link to abstract: http://l12.cgpublisher.com/proposals/673

使用汉语讲解“周末”

笔者发现很多时候汉语教学讲解是可以用汉语实现的,从而避免过度使用英语上课。汉语中,星期和周的意思基本相同,所以可以在‘星期’的基础上用等值法介绍‘周’。‘末’属于汉字。用箭头解释汉字可以说是不同范畴的形意等值。箭头的三角处所强调的部分使学生形象地理解了‘末’字的含义。学生在了解“周末”的基础上可以延伸出‘月末’和‘年末’。

此处要说明的一点是,有时各国的文化差异也会造成一些表达差异。爱尔兰人基本人会认为箭头的位置是末端,而很多中国人会把‘末’标注在与箭头处相反的另一端。此例说明,除了汉语语言、文化知识以外,海外汉语教师(此处指非本土出生的教师)也应该了解当地文化,并适当地将其运用到教学过程中。