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The Diversification Tendency of Chinese Language Courses and Challenges for Promotion of Chinese

Although not learning Chinese in China, you can still find that Chinese language courses have been showing the developing tendency of diversification. This diversification tendency can be concluded into four aspects as following.

The first, teaching main body has been transferring from university to elementary and secondary school. In the past, Chinese teaching focused on a few universities without connection with middle school education. Now, Chinese teaching has been broadening from university to elementary and secondary school and Chinese language courses have been a part of more and more middle school classroom teaching. This is a great progress of Chinese teaching and an important symbol of the diversification of Chinese teaching.

The second, teaching premises stretch from school campus to society. In the past, the main teaching premises used to be on campus, while campus has been not the only place for having Chinese language courses. More and more people take part in continuing education schools, Chinese teaching programs set by local education departments or language training institutions and programs of learning Chinese in China. Teaching patterns are diversified.

The third, teaching contents have been broadened from ordinary Chinese language courses to Chinese language courses for specific purposes. In recent years, the demands for courses of business Chinese and legal Chinese have been continuously increasing.

The fourth, classroom teaching coexists with extracurricular teaching. There are classroom Chinese teaching and extracurricular Chinese teaching in school. Lacking of classroom teaching time is considered as the greatest obstacle of Chinese teaching. But the phenomenon of the coexistence of classroom Chinese teaching and extracurricular Chinese teaching will last for a long time.

The diversification development of Chinese language courses is basically because of the sharp development of Chinese economy and the increase of comprehensive national power. Thus, as long as Chinese economy keeps increasing, the demand for Chinese language courses will increase and Chinese teaching will become more diversified as well. The new challenges and problems for Chinese teaching are shown in four aspects.

First one is the teaching resource, including textbooks, auxiliary teaching materials, outside reading and internet resources. Both the quality and quantity of these teaching resources have problems. There are only a few Chinese teaching materials suitable for students in different ages in the current market. Classroom Chinese language courses, extracurricular teaching and adult continuing education need different types of outside Chinese readings. Therefore, teaching materials had better interest people in different fields. But teaching materials which can meet all kinds of requirements are less.

Second one is the establishment of teacher team. The diversification of Chinese language courses needs adequate teacher resources to meet all kinds of requirements of teaching environment. This establishment of teacher team is also facing with the problems of quality and quantity. According to the statistics in 2006, it is predicted that the insufficiency of Chinese teachers will reach to 4 million in the future ten years. Most schools believe that the shortage of teachers is the greatest obstacle for the development of Chinese teaching. As for the quality problem, the identification for teachers has not been unified in the whole world. Although these two problems have been solving through all kinds of channels, the real demand can’t be satisfied immediately.

Third one is the research and development of tests. Teaching and tests are tightly connected together. The one which is closely related to the diversification of Chinese teaching is the diversification of Chinese tests. As the transmission of English in the globe, many tests like TOFLE, EILTS and BEC have been quite popular. However, Chinese tests produced by China are very few and the population of participants is limited. Compared with English tests, Chinese tests still have a certain distance.

The fourth one is the foundation of research. The diversification of Chinese teaching has raised new requirements for the foundation of research, such as the establishment of Chinese linguistic data library, the basic theory research of language transmission and the research of intercultural communication.

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