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Making Chinese

Learning Enjoyable
---A Case Study on a Chinese
Community College
Research Questions

1) How is CLT (Chinese language

teaching and learning) conducted in this
2) What are students’ attitudes to CTL?
3) How is teachers’ work?
4) What has the school done to assist
Key characteristics of
Chinese teaching and
learning culture
1 Teachers: highly-respected / controller
2 Students: diligent / attentive
being disciplined
taking notes/ doing exercises/ homework
3 Serious learning/teaching atmosphere
4 Learning / teaching by drilling/ imitating/
memorising / doing exercises
5 Teachers’ beliefs : Practice makes perfect/
Quantity decides quality
General Beliefs

* Chinese is very difficult

* Chinese learning is time-consuming
* Chinese teachers lack training and
work experiences
* Chinese teaching pedagogy conflicts
with locals’ learning habits
Research Context

Introduction of the Community College

1) History (NPO / 20 years’)

2) Goals
3) Organisation
4) Teachers
5) Students
Introduction of the college

Community Association



Introduction of the college

****Teachers: 22

*Language Background
(none with English as L1)

Introduction of the college

* Education Background (
EB) / Language
Education Background

Australian EB
Non-Australian EB

Australian Language
Lanuage EB
Introduction of the college

* Working Experiences
(all with language teaching experiences)
(three of them work at WA government or
private schools)
Introduction of the college

*****Students: 330*
(range from Kindy to Students with
Year 12 plus one Non-Chinese
adult class)
( few with 3+ years’
education experience
in a Chinese
area or country)
Research Methods
* Interviews
1) teachers
2) student groups
3) parents
4) principal and community leader
* Questionnaires
1) to teachers
2) to students
3) to parents
Findings 1
Responses from Students and Parents
1Although some are pushed by parents, they show a favourable attitude to
learning Chinese.
2 They can feel a sense of achievement.
3 Chinese is interesting but difficult in reading and writing.
4 Chinese classes are interesting.
However, when asking to compare to their daily school L2 class,
there are differences:
a textbooks ( There are few conversations! )
b fewer activities/ games (One word after another, one sentence after
c learning atmosphere ( Teacher does not smile. )
d simple teaching strategies (Please follow me read three times!
copy one word three times! drill/ imitate/ memorise/ dictate/recite…
e teachers’ English ( I can’t understand! )
Findings 2
Voices from teachers:
1 They love and enjoy their work.

2 They think it quite challenging.

1) Different class culture (They often ask for games, more games! )
2) Different views on language teaching ( I am not only teaching knowledge but a
skill! )
3) Different teaching-methods (Should have more interactions)
4) Class management ( So noisy, out of control!!!)
5) English proficiency (Yes, sometimes I can’t explain clearly or make myself fully
understood )

3 Their strategies/effort to adapt to the work

1) self-reflection ( I adjust according to students responses! I do reflect my teaching
after each class)
2) getting advice from colleagues ( Discussing with colleagues help a lot!)
3) learning from students (They are all teaching assistants! I often ask them for
4) further education to improve ( I have enrolled in diploma in teaching )
Findings 3
Responses from CMC and PMC

1 School goals
2 Problems: qualified teachers / teaching resources
3 Efforts/measures being done:

1) Recruitment : three key factors considered-- Australian school work experience /

language proficiency / language education experience )
2 ) Teaching resources
3) Professional training programs
4 ) Teachers meeting each month (‘school teachers’ play a key role)
5 ) Parents meeting each month
6) Seeking assistance from CLTAWA
Changes can be made to make CLT enjoyable:
* Teaching methods
* Class management
* language proficiency
* Language teaching pedagogy : ( For communication, not for
word recognition competition)

Necessary support to make qualified teachers of Chinese

* Education organizations
* School
* Teachers themselves