Graduate Institute of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language
The growing political and economic importance of Asian countries and their impact on the international community have attracted more and more students to learn Chinese, Hindi or Japanese in recent years. Especially, the interest in learning Chinese as a second language increased in America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. More and more schools and universities are offering Chinese language classes to their students. Today, Mandarin Chinese is becoming the second most spoken foreign language in the world.
Testing the oral-proficiency of language learners in a global context, however, reveals that Chinese is one of the most difficult languages to learn by students coming from America or European countries. According to a study conducted by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) of the United States, English native speakers have to spend three times more hours learning Chinese than their colleagues learning French, Spanish or Italian to acquire the same communicative competence.
In consideration of the difficulties in the second language acquisition of Chinese, our Graduate Institute for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language aims to develop and apply teaching methods to make learning and teaching of Chinese an easier task. We offer courses in didactics of teaching the Chinese language and in preparing teaching materials for classroom teaching, courses in linguistics, grammar and morphology of the Chinese language as well as courses in cultural studies of Chinese and Taiwanese society. Students are required to absolve practicum lessons in teaching Chinese to foreign students during their study. We are concerned to adopt modern research results and methods in various disciplines like linguistics and didactics to the reality and demands of classroom teaching. Chinese students, oversea Chinese students and foreign students with an adequate proficiency in the Chinese language are all welcomed to participate in our Graduate Institute. The first group of students of the Master’s Program at our Graduate Institute began their studies in 2007.
II. Curriculum of the Master’s Program “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language”
Our two-year Master’s Degree Program in “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language” includes required courses, the writing of the Mater’s thesis and a sufficient number of elective courses.
Required courses are
(1) Teaching Methods of the Chinese Language,
(2) Practicum in Chinese Teaching,
(3) Chinese Linguistics,
(4) Research Methods and Academic Writing Skills, and
(5) Special Topics in Chinese Culture and Society.
Also required is the writing of the Master’s thesis.
Elective courses cover three major areas of research and methods, namely in
(1) Chinese Teaching as a Foreign Language,
(2) Chinese Linguistics, and
(3) Studies in Chinese Culture and Society.
Requirements for graduation include
(1) a minimum number of thirty (30) credits in all courses,
(2) a minimum of seventy two (72) hours of practicing teaching Chinese,
(3) one research paper for a panel discussion,
(4) a Master’s thesis, and
(5) a certificate of proficiency in a second language.
(Students graduating from our institute who want to apply for the “Teaching Chinese as Second Language Certificate” from Taiwan’s Ministry of Education are exempt from taking examinations in the following courses: Chinese Linguistics, Chinese Teaching Methods and Studies in Chinese Culture and Society.)
III. Career prospect
As Mandarin Chinese is becoming the second lingua franca in the world, it is estimated that more than a billion people will learn Chinese in the future. Today, there is a strong need for Chinese language teachers in all countries of the world.
Taiwan is a genuine place where Chinese language is spoken and written. The country has a long tradition in teaching Chinese to foreign students. With its modern society, its natural beauty and its friendly people, Taiwan will be a good host for you to guide you in pursuing your goal of teaching Chinese!