Learning is seen as socialization, or as a situated process of participation in particular communities of practice learning is "a process of becoming or avoiding becoming a certain person, rather than a simple accumulation of skills and knowledge" (Pavlenko, 2001). Learning a foreign language needs to understand the culture that related to the language. The role of background knowledge in language comprehension is formalized as schema theory (Rumelhart, 1980). The second or foreign language learners’ previously acquired background knowledge includes the grapho-phonic, syntactic, and semantic types. The learners’ previously acquired knowledge structures are called schemata cultural knowledge is critical in Chinese as a foreign language learning. Culture-specific values can be significant factors in comprehension if the values expressed by the text differ from the values held by the learners’ comprehension. Two types of schemas are critical to language comprehension in this study. The first schema is Chinese culture schema. During Chinese language learning, when the content schema was culturally Chinese specific and not a part of participant’s cultural background knowledge, the comprehension of Chinese became difficult. Besides the schema of cultural knowledge, the other type of schema is Chinese language specific. Language proficiency is required for Chinese as learners to activate relevant schemata and gain comprehension. As English-speaking participants in this study, participants had several difficulties activating their Chinese culture and language-related schema in learning process. The study discussed the various cultural instruction methods in Chinese as a foreign language teaching.
Yanrong Qi, University of Oklahoma, United States
About the Presenter(s)
Dr. Yanrong Qi teaches at University of Oklahoma, USA. She received Ph.D. degree in Instructional Leadership. Her research interests include second language acquisition and Chinese language pedagogy and published research articles in those fields.
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