Literacy instruction of Chinese as a second language for heritage language learners




Wang, Ya-ling

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China's rapid economic development and growing political influence has resulted in increased emphasis on Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) and Chinese Foreign Language (CFL) teaching. Learning to read and write Chinese is a great challenge for most learners of Chinese; however, classroom-based research, including studies that explore literacy approaches when Chinese is the target or second language are rare. This study explored instructional approaches employed by Chinese language teachers and highlighted literacy challenges faced by students in college-level Chinese heritage language (CHL) classes. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to explore literacy instruction in Chinese as a second language classes for heritage language learners in Taiwan. A variety of data sources were utilized to explore the complex nature of literacy instruction for three Chinese language teachers and six CHL learners. The results here indicate that literacy instruction included both traditional and non- traditional approaches. Instructors used approaches that often blended traditional with less- traditional practices. CHL learners articulated a positive attitude toward the literacy instruction and expressed that the majority of literacy activities were helpful. However, CHL learners stressed that other practices were less helpful. Noteworthy was that CHL learners faced specific challenges, regardless of the instructional approach undertaken at the character level as well as word and sentence levels. Recommendations are made for research and language education. Findings have implications for both CHL and CFL classrooms.



Education, Bilingual education, Challenges in reading and writing Chinese, Chinese as a second language, Heritage language learners, Instructional approaches, Literacy instruction