Online teaching and learning platform for Heritage Mandarin Chinese courses

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Cynthia Xie, School of Computing Science and Language Training Institute

Project Team: Sally Huang, research assistant

Timeframe: June 2015 to March 2016

Support provided: $5,000 for an RA, travel and dissemination costs, software, and reference books, plus assistance with proposal development

Course addressed: CHIN 290 – Heritage Mandarin Chinese III

Final Report: View Cynthia Xie's final project report (PDF)

Description: The proposed project is to develop a customized online teaching and learning platform for the Heritage Mandarin Chinese courses I teach at SFU. The students for these courses fall into two main groups: 1) born and raised in a Chinese-speaking country or region before moving to Canada; and 2) born in Chinese-speaking homes in Canada. Although their proficiency level of Chinese varies, they share quite a few common characteristics in their learning of Mandarin Chinese: 1) most of the students know the basics of everyday language as well as some common Chinese cultural facts, but lack the linguistic knowledge and in-depth cultural understanding to explain “why”; and 2) some students feel “the course will be easy for me as I know the language”, while others think “reading and writing will be hard and boring.”  These misconceptions hinder the students from engaging in their learning.

The proposed project will address these issues by developing an online course platform, which aims to: 1) integrate multi-media course materials (images, audios, videos, and web links) into the course; and 2) design authentic, creative, and interactive reading and writing exercises and activities with hints/instant feedback to engage students in practicing what they’ve learned.

Questions addressed:

  • Do students perceive the online teaching and learning platform effective in engaging them in learning?
  • Do students perceive that the online teaching and learning platform improves their learning?
  • What feedback do students have about how to improve the online teaching and learning platform?

Knowledge sharing:

Xie, C. (2016, April). Online teaching and learning platform for heritage Mandarin Chinese courses. Presentation at the 9th Canadian Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (TCLS) Association International Conference, Vancouver, BC.