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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chinese Curriculum - What should it include?

At a basic level a Chinese Curriculum should teach Chinese. For adults usually this includes boht speaking, reading, and writing. For kids, there is usually more of an emphasis on speaking and using Pinyin, instead of learning Chinese Characters (either Simplified or Traditional).

At an advanced level, a Chinese Curriculum should also teach more about the culture and history. The headache with history is there may be more than on interpretation of it. For example the history taught in Taiwan of Mainland China from 1949 is a bit different than what is taught in Mainland China. Usually in Traditional Chinese books you will get the Taiwan version, and in Simplified the Chinese version. I know of one author who had not done higher level books in Simplified Chinese because of this issue, but has done them in Traditional Chinese.

When designing a Chinese Curriculum a teacher also needs to consider both the knowledge level of the Teacher (native Chinese speaker, more than 100% fluent, very experienced in teaching) and the students, who may come into class already verbally fluent having grown up in Taiwan and/or China, have parents who speak Chinese at home, to those who have no Chinese speaking adults at home. Different Chinese Curriculum may be needed for different types of students.

I put together at Childbook a buying guide of the different Chinese Curriculum I carry, that include Better Chinese, Practical Chinese, Chinese Made Easy for kids, Chinese Made Easy, Kuaile Hanyu, and Daily Chinese. The buying chart includes information on the teaching style, age, and background on the author.



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