Middlebury Language School Graduate Programs



« Summer 2013 Summer 2014 Language Schools


CRN: 60584

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.


CRN: 60598

Chinese Pedagogical Grammar


CRN: 60228

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.


CRN: 60405



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.


CRN: 60602

Discourse Analysis & Teach CSL

Discourse Analysis and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language


CRN: 60599

Teaching Chinese Vocabulary


CRN: 60581

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.


CRN: 60582

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.


CRN: 60585

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.


CRN: 60583

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.


CRN: 60242

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>