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Teaching Demands in Chinese Teaching as a Foreign Language

In order to improve the teaching quality and learning efficiency, relevant teaching demands should be set in Chinese teaching as a foreign language. For the purpose of helping foreign learners study Chinese better, the teachers should make efforts in two aspects, namely, the teaching demands in class and after class. Only when combine them together will students’ language ability be improved.

In the class, teachers should strictly implement the principle of practicality. In this process, the relationship between the theories explanation and the practice should be coordinated. In class, to reach the goal of helping learners learn Mandarin effectively, teachers should teach only the essential and ensure plenty of practice, and at the same time, focus on the practice.

The explanation should be less but the points should be important ones. For the language knowledge like pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, teachers should explain profound theories in simple language so that the students can understand. There is no good to explain with definition and use many grammatical terms. Considering the different language levels of students who study in China, teachers should use the explaining language should as simple as possible, more importantly, it should be enlightening.

“Plenty of practice” means the time for students to practice the language should be much more than that of teachers’ explanation. The proportion of lecturing and practicing would be better controlled as 3:7. However, teachers in Mandarin learning courses should realize that “plenty of practice” doesn’t mean the more the better. It should be perfect to practice effectively in limited time and on the basis of understanding. Then, students can understand and memorize in the process of practicing.

It is easy for teachers to implement plenty of practice. But the problem is how to practice effectively. Nevertheless, after many years’ teaching practice, we should pay attention to five points in practicing methods. First of all, the practice should from the easy to the difficult and from the simple to the complex. When students learn Mandarin Chinese, they should divide the sentence into several segments to analyze before they understand and master the whole sentence.

Secondly, the practice should be implemented from the “inflexible” to the “flexible”. The “inflexible” means to practice mechanically while “flexible” indicates to use freely. The final purpose of learning Mandarin Chinese is to use flexibly. But it should on the basis of the plenty practice. We often say that practice makes perfect. It gradually becomes an effective way to learn language from mechanical memorizing to the flexible usage and from imitation to creation.

In practice, the important points and the difficult points should be emphasized in class. The time for class is limited, so it is impossible to make use of the time equally. The important points and the difficult points should be stressed in limited time. If two sentence patterns appear in the same class, the “是” structure like “我是中国人” and “在” used with nouns for place as adverbial like “他在图书馆学习”. For the English speakers who learn Chinese in China, the second one is the point.

As it is language teaching, we should emphasize actual effect of practice in class. The purpose is to master by practice, so the practice in class should be designed meticulously. Teachers in Chinese language school should practice organized with purpose as well as emphasizing quality and quantity. As a result, the students can learn by themselves after the practice.

The last but not least point is to take the control of the class atmosphere and there should be both loose and tight. We say “teach the essential and ensure plenty of practice” doesn’t mean the more practice the better. The lecturing and practice should be combined organically. To help students learn Chinese language better, teachers can either practice on the basis of lecturing or summarize based on the practice. And the methods should be various.

Except for the practice in class, it is necessary to encourage students to join plenty of practice out of the class, thus combing the practice in and out class perfectly. In order to stimulate the interest to learn to speak Chinese, teachers can assign some tasks for students to finish after class. If possible, we can organize learners to learn and use language together in the society.

By following the teaching demands of “teaching only the essential and ensuring plenty of practice”, teachers can teach Chinese language effectively with proper combination of practice and explanation.

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