Hu Xiao (Joseph is his English name) is one of the trainers of the workshop***. He holds a master degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (MTCSOL). He has also been teaching in BICC for two years. He loves traveling and playing guitar. Here is the interview with Joseph on Chinese Language teaching. I hope you find it interesting and useful.
What is the scope of Chinese language teaching and learning across the world? Why do you think foreigners should learn Chinese?
We hope that Chinese language teaching will be worldwide, just like French Alliance.
I think that China is a country with tons of people as well as opportunities, once you learn Chinese you’ll get the chance to communicate with one of the most potential nation.
As a language teacher, what problems and challenges do you face while teaching Chinese to the foreigners? And how do you overcome them?
The biggest problem or challenge i think is the teaching of Chinese characters. This is because foreign people are afraid of Chinese characters.
I think the Chinese teachers should not only teach the character itself, but also teach the background and the formation of characters. By that can let the students get interested in learning Chinese characters.
Does English language help you in teaching Chinese to foreigners? If yes, in what ways?
Definitely, especially in communicating with the beginners. We call English the “mediator”, but when a learner learns more and more, the use of English should be less and less.
Could you please share with us some phonetic difference between English and Chinese language?
For example, ‘j, q, and x’ in Chinese pinyin. In linguistics, we call them “the sound of tongue blade”, but in English we don’t have a sound like that. When the English-speakers start learning these 3 phonetics in Chinese, they find very hard to pronounce them.
Finally, would you like to convey some message to those interested in learning Chinese language?
We’d like to invite those who are interested in learning Chinese language to attend some Chinese language learning activities held by your country’s Confucius Institute. Because that is the place that you may directly feel the Chinese culture and language. Also if you are not that convenient in learning Chinese in class, you may choose the internet learning. Making more Chinese friends is also a good way to learn Chinese, because the Chinese people are always surround other countries’ people.
I have recently attended the ‘2015 China Workshop Program for Foreign Chinese Language Teachers’ at the campus of Beijing International Chinese College (BICC) in the Olympic Village in Beijing, Capital of China.
Over 30 teachers from Russia, Mongolia and Nepal participated in the China Workshop Program for Foreign Chinese Language Teachers, sponsored by Hanban. This workshop/training program is specifically designed to encourage foreign teachers to become Chinese language teachers and promote the Chinese language and Chinese culture outside China. The training course included 100 class hours, plus numerous sightseeing and cultural activities. The courses taught during the workshop were based on the needs of the Chinese language teachers; the main focus was on teaching the foreign participants the theory and methodology of teaching Chinese; and the application of modern educational technology in Chinese language teaching and cultural practices.
All the BICC trainers for this workshop are the full-time Chinese language teachers and guest professors from Beijing University, Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing Normal University and Beijing Foreign Language University.
Here is the glimpse of the program in the video: