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Cognitive Approach in Task-based Chinese Teaching

The cognitive approach in language learning proposed by Skehan gave a new birth to the task-centered teaching because he explained the theoretical basis of task-based teaching. Foreigners who study Chinese may be told that the application of language depends on rules system and the words system. We should know there are three goals for language application, namely, fluency, accuracy and complexity. When you study Chinese, you should know that the first two are related to the meanings while the accuracy and complexity are related to the forms of language.

For the cognitive approach, Skehan thinks we should design the tasks according to the communication environment and attract students’ attention in the process of finishing the tasks, thus developing their language skills continuously and symmetrically when studying Chinese in China. Skehan divided the teaching into three stages, the activities before tasks, in tasks and after tasks. According to the cognitive approach, students who study Chinese should know Skehan pays attention to three aspects about the difficulty of tasks, code complexity, cognitive complexity and communication pressure. 

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