Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CHNS 6501 - Tchng Chinese as For Lang      

Principles and Practices of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

This is a foundational course for teachers of Chinese as a foreign language. Through assigned readings, lectures, student-teacher activities, small-group discussions, individual research reports (oral and written), and other methods, students gain mastery of basic theories of TCFL, and progressively form their own educational philosophies. In order to guide their future work in the TCFL profession, students will build upon their abilities to teach and research. This course is divided into four units:
1) Basic theories of TCFL (language education, language acquisition, cultural communication); 2) An analysis of schools of thought in foreign language teaching;
3) Special characteristics and philosophies in teaching Chinese; and
4) Chinese teacher development. Pedagogy

Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6503 - Pedagogical Issues Teach Chns      

Bridging Theory and Practice: Pedagogical Issues in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

This course introduces students to the principles of second language acquisition (SLA), a field of study that investigates how people learn a second language (The term second includes "foreign" and "third", "fourth", etc.) and provides a basis for understanding the SLA research related to learning and teaching Chinese as a second language. Theoretical issues to be covered include what it means to know a language and how one becomes proficient in a foreign language, factors that affect the learning process, and the role of one’s native language in the process of second language acquisition. We will also examine what SLA research has discovered about teaching grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and writing. The goal of this course is to explore ways in which SLA theories can be applied to facilitate acquisition of Chinese as a second language both in terms of classroom teaching and syllabus design. Readings will be in both English and Chinese; classes will be conducted in Chinese.

Format: lecture/discussion. Evaluation will be based on class participation, short papers (3-5 pages), oral presentations, and a final research project.

Required Text: Brown, H.D. (3rd ed.) Teaching Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Longman, 2007. ISBN: 978-13-612711-6. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools

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CHNS 6504 - Chinese Pedagogical Grammar      

This course stems from practical applications, leading students to a full understanding of the fundamentals of Chinese grammar, as well as the principles and methods of teaching Chinese grammar. Through lectures, discussions, and micro teaching activities, students will take the first steps towards using theory in the practical application of teaching Chinese grammar. Equipped with a higher level of active knowledge of grammar, students will enhance their abilities to predict and avoid grammatical errors, resolve grammatical problems, and put together grammar-teaching exercises.

The main content of this course can be separated into three units. The first unit will introduce the basic principles of teaching grammar. The second unit will cover the basic content of Chinese grammar to be taught. The third unit will focus on honing students’ skills and methods for teaching Chinese grammar. The second unit is the centerpiece of the course; it is not a comprehensive overview of modern Chinese grammar, but rather, was developed based upon the actual needs and requirements of teaching. For this unit, the instructor has chosen difficult grammar points, and will specifically discuss and analyze Chinese content words, words with grammatical meaning only, complements, sentence patterns, word order, compound phrases, and other such important, difficult, or easily mistaken points and educational tactics for overcoming them. Through microteaching activities, students will connect theoretical knowledge with the actual practice of teaching. Instructors will analyze, explain, and comment upon students’ recording teaching practice sessions to guide them toward improvement in their grammar-teaching practice. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6506 - Teaching & Research Methods      

Foreign Language Teaching and Research Methods

An introduction to the uses of statistical methods, data, and computer technology to understand and measure the effectiveness of foreign language teaching and to develop a research model to reveal the important aspects, such as the development of linguistic and strategic competences, of effective language pedagogy. Students will develop research skills to explore teaching effectiveness objectively. The methods to be employed in this course include reading and topic discussion, theoretical explanation, and case analysis; explore the role of quantitative measurement methods; and develop quantitative analysis and measurement methods to lay the foundation for foreign language teaching and research.

Required texts: Instructor will provide. Pedagogy

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6509 - Language Testing & Assessment      

This course relates language testing practice to current views on communicative language teaching and assessment. It builds on language testing theories and ACTFL standards for foreign language learning, examining the design, planning, and organization of tests while emphasizing the close tie between teaching and assessment. Topics discussed include the classification of assessment techniques (formative and summative), systematic treatment of assessing all four language skills, comprehensive presentation of alternatives in assessment (i.e. portfolios, interviews, etc.), popular standardized tests in the TCFL field (OPI, AP and HSK), and program reviews. Students are expected to utilize language testing theories and standards to design their own assessment tools to guide their current and future teaching practices. Pedagogy

Summer 2016 Language Schools

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CHNS 6510 - Intro to Chinese Linguistics      

Introduction to Chinese Linguistics

Introduction to Linguistics is one of the foundational courses for the students who are major or are interested in Modern Linguistics. Through the introduction and classroom discussion, students will learn some knowledge of basic theories and concepts and know some main interests of the linguists, which will help the learners go into the interesting world of linguistics and feel eager to explore some topics in this field. Through interpreting the basic theories of linguistics, our course will offer some seminar for the students to think and discuss the similarities and differences between English and Chinese in daily expression and language usage.

The primary content of the course includes the following items: language and its special characteristics; the subjects of linguistic research; the role and functions of linguistics, phonetics, grammar, the relationship and systematic nature of semantics and writing systems; language development and language contact, etc.

The expectation of the course could be very clear, that is, to understand the basic function of language, know some of the theoretical mechanism in linguistics, and enable to use all what we have learned and discussed synthetically to think and analyses some linguistic phenomenon. Linguistics

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6607 - Phonetics      

Chinese Phonetics

This class uses the actual phonetic situation of Mandarin Chinese to explore basic concepts and research methods in phonetics. The specific content in this course includes the biology of phonetics, the physics of phonetics, psychological foundations, an introduction to the real manifestations of Chinese phonetics’ syllabic structure, tones, vowels, consonants, rhythm and intonation. The instructor will detail the procedures for using phonetic experiments to analyze tones, vowels, consonants and intonation. In addition, the course will also cover the process of acquisition of Chinese phonetics for both first- and second-language learners, contact and development between languages and dialects, and other topics, building extensions upon the foundation of basic research.
If prerequisites are met, students may choose one to two themes and undertake an experiment and analysis. This will give students the opportunity to gain real experience with phonetic research, and through involving themselves in the process, they will gain enthusiasm about the topic, and will also develop and strengthen their academic research abilities. Linguistics

Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6608 - Chinese Semantics      

The studies of semantics, grammar and phonetics are the three main branches of the study of modern linguistics. Semantics studies the meaning of language, encompassing and touching upon philosophy, logic, psychology, anthropology and semiology. This course focuses on the semantic subdivision of linguistics, with an emphasis on combining practical Chinese from the cognitional and functional aspects, explaining and discussing the various characteristics, types, structures and functions of semantics of words and expressions, as well as the formation, development and evolution of semantics. The course will also discuss the semantic structure of sentences, the aggregate relationship of semantics of words and expressions, the combined relationship in sentence semantics, the relationship in the meaning between sentences, and related issues.

Required Text:
Howard Gregory
ISBN-13: 9780415216104

Semantics (Language Workbooks)
Author: Howard Gregory
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Routledge
Published: January 2000

Introduction to Semantics (revised edition) (Paperback)
Author: LI FU YIN
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: Unknown
Published: December 1991 Linguistics

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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CHNS 6610 - Chinese Pragmatics      

Through lectures and language practice investigation, this course gives students an understanding of basic theories and methods raised by renowned western scholars in the field of pragmatics and some new theories, principles or criteria raised by Chinese pragmatists. Students will master certain rules in Chinese pragmatics and use them to observe, analyze certain pragmatics phenomenon in Chinese; this course also trains students to use basic theories, principles and methods to observe, analyze, study and explain certain pragmatics phenomenon, characteristics and patterns in Chinese; lays foundation for future study and discovering pragmatics rules in Chinese.

This course gives a relatively more comprehensive introduction to the following content: basic theories and methods of pragmatics, main schools of thoughts and theories raised by prominent scholars, and based on which concrete examples will be analyzed; basic theories of context including the definition, classification, characteristics and function of context, and the meaning and value of studying context; phenomenon of indicatives, words and expressions, including the meaning and information of indicatives and all kinds of usages plus all kinds of indicative phenomenon in Chinese and related studies; theory of language behavior and meaning of conversation including principles of conversation and manners, etc.; pre-assumption, information, focus and related theories, analytic techniques, conducting case studies combined with Chinese; conversation structures, etc.

Instruction style: a combination of lecturing, discussion, investigation of language applications, and reading relevant literature. Linguistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6618 - Sociolinguistics      

The object of sociolinguistic research is language in society. Language’s history, language’s current situation and language’s development are all inseparable from groups of people who use language, and all of these have an intimate relationship with humanity and society. Language is the tool of communication for people. Language exists only within society; once one leaves society, there is no language. In both studying and researching language, one cannot leave societal life aside.

The content of sociolinguistics includes hierarchies in language and society, ethnic communities and languages, gender differences in language, linguistic and speech situations, communication and interaction between language and society, language’s ethnic variants, and geographic conditions and language. Sociolinguistics is a branch of linguistics, yet it is also its origin. This course gives an account of sociolinguistic theory and research methods, and through case study analysis, allows students to design their own research proposals, engage in real linguistic studies, and connect theory with reality. Civ Cul & Soc Linguistics

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6623 - Action Research CFL Teachers      

Action Research for CFL Teachers

The purpose of this course is to train students to conduct action research in their own classroom as a way to reflect on their own teaching, and on the relationship of theory, practice and learning outcomes. To this end, we will examine some representative classroom-based research in CFL on teacher talk, types of questions, corrective feedback, classroom culture, and effectiveness of classroom activities. We will also discuss the ways to identify problems to investigate, selection of appropriate research methods, data collection and analysis, and ways to draw conclusions from research. Students will have opportunities to design action research on the topics of their own interest.

Students will learn and master the course content through readings, discussions, class observations, journal entries, group work, and individual projects. Class is primarily conducted in Chinese. Pedagogy

Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6624 - Discourse Analysis & Teach CSL      

Discourse Analysis and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6625 - Teaching Chinese Vocabulary      

This course combines teaching practice and acquisition theory, and introduces to students the vocabulary of teaching and acquisition in CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language). Students are expected to understand the basic contents and main features of modern Chinese vocabulary system, as well as some achievements and problems of vocabulary acquisition in SLA (Second Language Acquisition). Emphasis will be on the key points and difficulties in Chinese vocabulary teaching. Through lectures, discussions, and micro-teaching activities, students will enhance their abilities to select appropriate strategies to teach vocabulary, predict and avoid unsuitable usage of words, correspondingly offer understandable explanation to certain errors, and put together vocabulary-teaching exercises. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools

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CHNS 6626 - The Teaching of Writing      

The Teaching of Writing: Theory and Practice

This course addresses the elements, process, and products of writing in CFL classes. It builds on writing process theories, ACTFL proficiency standards, and specifics of teaching writing in the CFL classroom setting. Topics discussed will fall in four major categories, including (1) origins of characters and character teaching, (2) proficiency-based writing research and teaching (i.e. goals and standards of writing in each proficiency level, scopes of writing tasks, paragraph- and discourse-oriented products, coherence and cohesion, etc.), (3) writing process, feedback, and assessment, and (4) teaching practice (i.e. cognitive strategies for writing, modeling and task-based design, technology use in writing, etc.). Students are expected to utilize writing process theories and proficiency standards to design their own writing tasks to guide their current and future teaching practice. Pedagogy

Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6631 - Curriculum & Materials Develop      

Curriculum and Materials Development for Chinese as a Second Language

This course is an introduction to curriculum and materials development for teaching Chinese as a second language. While the emphasis of the course is practical, the theoretical background of curriculum design materials development will also be explored. By the end of the course, students are expected to be well informed about the various pedagogical principles that guide the curriculum and materials design for CSL classrooms, as well as ability to critique commercially available textbooks and to develop in-house teaching materials that are informed by research findings, both empirical and classroom-based.

Required Text:

Developing Materials for Language Teaching by Brian Tomlison,

International Curriculum for Chinese Language Education

NFLC Guide for Basic Chinese Language Programs, Pedagogy

Summer 2015 Language Schools

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CHNS 6633 - Dream as a Literary Mode      

Through a survey of the “dream” stories in various genres, this course examines how a recurrent literary theme evolves into a powerful mode of expression and narration, a convenient and effective tool for authors from different ages to represent the ethos of their times. This “case study” of a literary mode provides a vivid example of how a literary tradition reinvents and revitalizes itself though its development. Students can also expect to become more sensitive to the distinctive generic features as well as the conventions of the major genres in Chinese literature. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6634 - Language and the Brain      

Language is an important feature separating humans from the animal kingdom. Starting with a basic physiological and psychological understanding of neuroscience from the perspective of language, the course will cover the cognitive aspects in the relationship between language and the brain’s structure and function. Using the most current scientific research and drawing from various disciplines, students in this course will explore the mysteries of language. Linguistics

Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6646 - Classical Chinese Poetry      

Classical genres, themes, and poets are introduced and examined through poetry recitation and construction. Students will understand and appreciate the linguistic and aesthetic features of Chinese language in poetic form. The course integrates linguistic mastery with poetry study, introduces the formal structure of Chinese classical poetry, and examines its stylistic variations within historical contexts. Literature

Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6652 - Readings in Classical CH Prose      

“This Culture of Ours”: Readings in Classical Chinese Prose Essays*

Through close readings of the representative classical Chinese prose essays, students will catch a glimpse of the core values of the unique “written” intellectual tradition, that is, the vivacious and self-reflective experience of the heart and mind of the cultural and intellectual elite of pre-modern China, recorded in a highly condensed “written-only” language. No pre-knowledge of classical Chinese is required. Students will approach the original texts with the help of translations in modern Chinese. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2018 Language Schools

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CHNS 6661 - Spontaneity in Ancient Thought      

The Quest for Spontaneity in Ancient Chinese Thought

This course examines a fascinating issue that attracts the attention of all the major Chinese thinkers in ancient times, that is, the freedom of acting without calculation or conscious effort—a state of being that can be best summarized as ziran (self-so) in Chinese, or “spontaneity” in English. Through close readings of selected passages from the original texts by such big names as Confucius, Mencius, Mozi, Xunzi, Liezi, and especially Laozi and Zhuangzi, students will learn to detect and analyze the differences—and similarities, if any—between the varied understandings and interpretations of this “spontaneity” from the perspectives of different schools of thought. Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools

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CHNS 6670 - Reading Development in CSL      

Reading Development in Chinese as a Second Language

This course aims at providing a systematic account of the development of reading ability by students learning Chinese as a second language. The course’s ultimate goal is to foster principled research and effective instruction in Chinese literacy. Towards that end, the course materials will cover general topics, including different theories of reading development and cross-linguistic influences on L2 reading, as well as issues specific to developing reading ability in Chinese, both at the levels of decoding and of comprehension. In addition to gaining insights into the factors that affect reading in a second language, students will engage in critical analysis of some prevailing practices in Chinese reading instruction through examination of textbooks, classroom observation, and personal experiences.

Readings in both English and Chinese while classes will be conducted in Chinese. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6672 - Second Language Acquisition      

Second-Language Acquisition Theory

This class is an introductory course on the research of second language acquisition, second-language learning research theory and methodology, as well as major research achievements in the field, along with the practical applications for Chinese language instructors.

In the west, the research of second-language acquisition began in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Now, it has now already developed into it’s own independent academic discipline, overlapping into others, and has become the new frontier in modern applied linguistics.

This course can help students familiarize themselves with the process of second language acquisition, its characteristics, rules, and the progress and achievements already reached within the field. Students acquire a deep understanding of the principles of second language acquisition through their own combined experiences, thereby allowing students to take more conscious initiative in the study of linguistics, and allowing instructors to teach language in a richer, more effective way. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6690 - Language Teaching Practicum      

This course is designed for students in their last summer session of the Master’s program. In this course, students will have the opportunity to reflect upon the theories of Chinese teaching that they have already learned, improving their ability to design and effectively implement classroom teaching practices. Students’ assignments will include: readings on TCFL, reflections on the questions and problems brought up in readings, classroom observation, directed course design, class preparation, microteaching activities, and others. Pedagogy

Summer 2014 Language Schools, Summer 2015 Language Schools, Summer 2016 Language Schools, Summer 2017 Language Schools, Summer 2018 Language Schools

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* Course descriptions and required texts are subject to change.

The Chinese School

Sunderland Language Center
Middlebury College
P: 802.443.5520
F: 802.443.2075

Mailing address
Chinese School
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753

Mimi Clark, Coordinator