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The Culture and Language Learning of Chinese

  • Date Submitted: 06/11/2013 02:58 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39 
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The culture and language learning of Chinese
festivals in a kindergarten classroom
This paper presents an action
research study that investigates the role of culture in a Chinese language program in
a kindergarten classroom. Three topics have been explored: (a) culture as the core in
the development of a thematic unit on Chinese festivals, (b) a culturally responsive
pedagogy as a model of instruction, and (c) the assessment of student learning. Nine
kindergarten children participated in this study. The thematic unit was undertaken for
eight consecutive weeks. Five major Chinese festivals were integrated into this unit;
the teaching and learning processes were examined to explore the application of a
culturally responsive pedagogy. Diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments
were administered to explore the children’s learning. The assessments were based the
participants’ oral response to one-to-one interviews, their written responses on the
Pictorial Attitudes Scale in a whole-group session, cultural artefacts, and drawing
and writing products.
Thematic curriculum unit, Chinese culture and language, multicultural education,
culturally responsive pedagogy
INTRODUCTION
Teaching culture as an integral part of language has gained importance in the Twenty-first
century as a result of internationalisation and globalisation of communication (Lange and Paige,
2003). Although increased attention has been paid to the role of culture in second language
learning and teaching, the major interest is still focused on the areas of reading and writing in
learning a foreign language (Lafayette, 2003). Some teachers believe that culture takes the focus
away from language learning and that cross-cultural experiences are too challenging and may
cause discomfort to both the teacher and the learner (Lange and Paige, 2003).
On the other hand, a growing number of people in the language teaching profession are calling for
a greater emphasis on culture....

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