My interests in Chinese language teaching began when I first explained Chinese grammar to a second language learner of Chinese. The big gap between Chinese and English aroused my curiosity about the language teaching method. Since Chinese has obvious distinction compared to English and other phonetic and alphabetic languages, in my first semester of teaching Chinese 101 I realize it requires in-depth explanation and instruction not only of the grammar system or vocabularies capacity but also the cultural awareness and comprehension.
The ultimate goal of my language teaching is to make students understand and be able to use the target language in real life, instead of only in a classroom environment. I focus on the communicative goal in my classroom as well as the input of the other four factors of 5c of foreign language teaching. I pay attention to culture and community at the same time since I believe students should have a comprehensible understanding of the language and its culture in order to understand how this system is formed.
Although students speak fluently in the classroom, they could not apply their skills in real life situation since native speakers have their own language habits which are absent in the textbook. In order to reach the communicative goal, I guide students through real-life scenarios and authentic materials in the classroom. For example, I introduce a real train ticket or a marriage certificate for students to recognize the dates of these two documents in order to raise their curiosity of getting more knowledge of the target language.
Teaching my native language also provides me the chance to research not only the language but also the culture in a different angle and seek a better method to instruct the students. I realize at this point, it is beneficial to teach the students both the formal structure and the sophisticated meaning of the language, which improves learners’ language ability from memorizing the rules to having the motivation to search for the potential of the language.