Close trade and political ties with China have increased the importance for Americans to better understand the languages and cultures of China. To help meet the increased demand for instruction in Mandarin, the dialect used by the government of the People's Republic of China and more than 70% of the country's people, the Language Institute has developed an introductory sequence of two online Mandarin Chinese courses for high school students, to be offered for hybrid (teacher-guided/online) delivery.
Online Chinese Courses for High School Students are licensed to schools or school districts for use in their classrooms. Unfortunately we are not able to offer the courses to individual students at this time. Please contact Dianna Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your school might be interested in the Online Chinese Courses.
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What's in the online course materials?
The courses are designed to meet the goals of the U.S. Standards for Foreign Language Learning, as developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), to promote cultural understanding and communicative proficiency in the three modes of communication.
The courses, comprised of twelve lessons, provide an introduction to Mandarin Chinese, with a focus on understanding and appreciating cultural beliefs, attitudes and practices. The lessons follow the story of an American high school student, Jenny, as she embarks on an exchange program in Beijing, China. Each lesson is based on a video episode filmed for the course in Beijing.
Thematic topics include:
Course I: Meeting new people, asking about professions, understanding family relationships, ordering food, expressing preferences, talking about courses and extracurricular activities such as hobbies.
Course II: Exchanging money at a bank, getting help with directions, shopping at a store, making plans, talking about exams, saying good-bye.
Each online lesson consists of the following sections:
Lesson Overview: A summary of what the lesson entails.
Viewing in Context: Short video episodes in Chinese, with interactive exercises designed to help students develop listening/viewing strategies and acquire new vocabulary (meets Communication Standard 1.2).
Integrating Words and Expressions: New vocabulary for each lesson, presented in context and with opportunities to practice pronouncing new words and comparing pronunciation with that of a native speaker.
Exploring the Cultural Context: Critical cultural information for use in discussions with the instructor and classmates on cultural beliefs, attitudes, and practices (Cultures Standard 2.1; Connections Standard 3.2; Comparisons Standards 4.1, 4.2; Communities Standards 5.1, 5.2).
Integrating Structures and Forms: New grammar points with examples and lots of practice with immediate feedback.
Recognizing and Writing Chinese Characters: Animations showing the correct stroke order of new characters and worksheets to practice writing them.
Putting it All Together: Practice in the three modes of communication with classmates, the teacher, and community contacts. This section consists of five sub-sections.
- Practice on Your Own: Dialogues and exercises to practice and complete individually (Communication Standard 1.2).
- Practice With a Partner: Assignments to complete with a partner (Communication Standards 1.1, 1.3).
- Connect with the Community: Assignments for students to interact regularly with selected Chinese community contacts and complete written assignments based on their experiences with them (Comparisons Standards 4.1, 4.2; Communities Standard 5.1).
- Work with Your Teacher: Conversations with the teacher in which students review and use the material learned in the lesson.
- Lesson Assignment: A worksheet that students download, complete by hand, then submit to the teacher for assessment and feedback.
Assessment: Tests for each lesson, as well as comprehensive unit tests and final exams, checking student progress in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and cultural understanding.
All course materials, including assessments, are delivered through Moodle, an open-source course management system.
Districts interested in licensing the courses for use in their schools should contact Dianna Murphy.