Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs

 

N.B. Course descriptions and required texts are subject to change.

Courses

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, progressively form their own educational philosophies. In order to guide the future of their 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.

Required Text: Brown, H. D. Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Longman, 2007. ISBN 978-0-13-612711-6.

Liú Xún. Duì Wài Hànyu Jiàoyù Yinlùn. Beijing Languages University Press, 2000. ISBN 978- 7-5619-0874-7.

Pedagogy

Summer 2011, Summer 2013

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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.

Pedagogy

Summer 2012, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6504 - Chinese Pedagogical Grammar      

Pedagogy

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6510 - Intro to Chinese Linguistics      

Introduction to Chinese Linguistics

This is a graduate course in the basic foundation and principles of linguistics. It combines the teaching of language with research application, explanation and discussion on how to understand linguistic phenomenon, and how to understand linguistic rules. Central content includes: What is language? linguistic concepts, and the nature of language; objectives in the study of linguistics, subdivisions of linguistics, the communicative function of language, and the relationship between language and thought; regional and societal variations in language; the relationship between language and speech, the relationship between language and writing; language structure to classification, speech, semantics, systemized syntax and other related issues.

Linguistics

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6550 - CSL Research & Implications      

Chinese as a Second Language: Research & Implications

This course introduces basic second language learning theories and surveys the research on the acquisition and learning of Chinese as a second language. The topics include the acquisition of different aspects of the Chinese language, including phonology, lexicon, syntax, pragmatics, orthography, and culture. The course also covers learners’ development of the four language skills, namely listening, speaking, reading, and writing. We will also discuss issues related to different learners of Chinese, such as heritage students and advanced learners. Through critically reading the empirical studies, students will gain an understanding of second language acquisition research in general and also issues that are specific to the learning of Chinese. The goals of this course are twofold: 1) to help students synthesize major research findings in each sub-field, and 2) to guide students to make informed pedagogical choices in future language teaching.

Pedagogy

Summer 2013

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CHNS 6580 - Topics in Chinese Culture      

This course provides an overall introduction to Chinese civilization and its impact on contemporary Chinese family and society. Course content reflects recent intellectual interests shared in China and United States. Topics include: Chinese language and literature, science and art, geography and ethnicity, religion and education, fashion and cuisine, commercialization and globalization. Meanwhile, the course is designed to improve students’ Chinese language skills to fully express themselves in both academic and informal settings. By the end of the term students will be able to evaluate for themselves both materials from Chinese sources and the varied interpretations given to these sources. The diverse themes and approaches in this course will help students get better prepared for their TCFL profession.

Readings include both English and Chinese texts. Classroom language is mandarin Chinese. Lectures will be facilitated with PPT slides and short videos. Students will be evaluated by their performance of discussions, oral presentations and written reports.

Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2013

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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 2011, Summer 2013

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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.

Linguistics

Summer 2012

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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 2013

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CHNS 6618 - Sociolinguistics      

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 2011, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 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 2013

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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      

Pedagogy

Summer 2012, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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CHNS 6627 - Designing Classroom Activities      

Designing Innovative Classroom Activities in CFL

This course is designed to equip in-service/pre-service Chinese teachers with the knowledge and hands-on skills to effectively develop and implement classroom activities in order to raise and maintain students’ interests in learning Chinese and Chinese culture. To this end, we will discuss language requirements we should meet and thematic topics we may choose to develop classroom activities. We will explore how cognitive, pedagogical, linguistic and individual factors affect students’ Chinese learning and how we should accommodate these factors when developing classroom activities. We will discuss and identify difficulties and challenges American students may come across in the process of learning Chinese and ways to tackle them through different classroom activities. We will study sample activities and analyze the employed techniques and strategies. We will perform group and individual projects developing theme-based and form-focused activities.
Students will learn and master the course content through lectures, readings, discussions, group work, and individual projects. Class is primarily conducted in Chinese.

Textbook: Teaching Language in Context (3nd edition) by Hadley, Alice Oaggio, 2000

Pedagogy

Summer 2013

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CHNS 6629 - Material Development in TCSL      

Methods and Material Development in TCFL

This course will give students the opportunity to compare and discuss different tactics, methods and skills of teaching Chinese in a classroom, as well as the ways to select, use, and supplement course materials for a Chinese class. Through assigned readings, lectures, classroom observation, case study analyses, teaching activity designs, and analysis of Chinese teaching materials, students will improve their abilities to teach in the classroom and to select and use proper teaching materials.

This course is separated into four units: 1. Classroom teaching principles and methods, as well as classroom management; 2. the applications of theory for teaching listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities in the Chinese-teaching classroom, 3. development and creativity with Chinese teaching materials, and 4. using,analyzing and evaluating Chinese teaching materials.

Brown, H. D. Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Longman, 2007. ISBN 978-0-13-612711-6.

Xú Ziliàng and Wú Rénfu. Shíyòng Duìwài Hànyu Jiàoxuéfa. Peking University Press, 2005. ISBN 7-301-08092-1.

Liú Xún. Duì Wài Hànyu Jiàoyù Yinlùn. Beijing Languages University Press, 2000. ISBN 978- 7-5619-0874-7.

Pedagogy

Summer 2011

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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

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CHNS 6638 - Chinese Literary Tradition      

This course serves as an introduction to Chinese literary tradition that spans from the first millennium B.C. to 1911. Readings include the most beloved literary texts that unify Chinese civilization through its long history, such as Confucian and Daoist classics, historical narratives, tales of the strange, Tang Dynasty poetry, short stories, vernacular plays, and novels. The discussion-based seminar aims to explore how Chinese literature, seen as one of the three ways of achieving immortality along with virtue and deed, confirms social values or challenges them, and how it articulates the place of individual in a thoroughly Confucian and patriarchal society. While the emphasis is on traditional Chinese literature, we will also consider a wide range of modern cultural products, such as operas, films, and popular songs, to investigate how Chinese literary tradition has shaped Chinese people’s imagination and sensibilities, thus remaining relevant and significant in modern society. The course is taught in Chinese, with readings in both Chinese and English.

Cao Xiaoyīn. Zhōngguó Gudài Wénxuépin xuanzhù. Peiking University Press. ISBN 9788301053409

Literature

Summer 2011

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CHNS 6648 - Women in Chinese Soc & Lit      

Women in Chinese Society and Literature

The course examines roles, images and writings of women in ancient and modern China. Integration of gender relations into cosmological and socio-political patterns sets the tone for the representation of women in Chinese literature, theatre, film, and religious texts, but the notion that women were oppressed and silenced throughout the imperial China needs to be re-examined and complicated. Our discussion will focus on three key themes: 1) the gap between Confucian ideals of womanhood and dynamic complexity of female social roles under actual circumstances, 2) the construction of female voices by both male authors (writing as a woman in the process of writing about her) and women writers, 3) varied forms of female agency within and beyond the domestic context. The course is conducted in Chinese and combines lecture, discussion, and students’ presentations. Readings include English and Chinese publications.

Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2012

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CHNS 6650 - Chinese Cinema      

This course examines the cinemas of mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese Diaspora, with a focus on how social, political and cultural changes of modern and contemporary China find their expressions in films. Background readings provide historical narratives. Selections of films and class discussions center on key issues, such as birth of nation-state, social realism and socialist realism, gender and transgender, modernity and cultural identity, history and memory, urban culture, relocation and social migration. Students will learn to use and analyze film language, and to develop a critical understanding of Chinese society and culture through film. The course is conducted in Chinese and combines lecture, discussion, and students’ presentations. Readings include English and Chinese publications.

Civ Cul & Soc

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013

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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

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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 2012, 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.

Required Text: Kubler, Cornelius. Pathways V. 03 NFLC Guide for Basic Chinese Language Programs (2nd Edition). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. ISBN: 978-0-87415-071-1 <http://flpubs.osu.edu/catalog_details.cfm?PubKey=155>

Pedagogy

Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013, Summer 2014 Language Schools

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