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Confucius Institute

Language research

We aim to deliver high quality teaching through informed research into pedagogy, multimedia learning, cultural factors, cognitive psychology and language for special purposes. Current research topics include:

Mandarin teaching pedagogy in the UK by Lucy Yang

My research interest broadly lies in Mandarin teaching pedagogy in the UK. My recent research focused on effective planning, teaching and assessment in Mandarin lessons, and analysis and evaluation of teaching materials used in GCSE Mandarin.  I also have done research in effective target language use in secondary school Mandarin teaching, and made comparison with the TL use in Spanish teaching. Other research projects I have undertaken include the investigation and study of British and American Students' cross-cultural adaptation in Beijing, in comparison of Korean students' cross-cultural adaptation and Neijiang dialect.

Research on Instructional Design for Business Chinese Course by Wei Wang

Inspired by ESP (English for Specific Purpose), one of the most developed instructional theories in the field of LSP (Language for Special Purpose), I research on a systematic learning-centred approach to customize a well-defined syllabus of Business Chinese Course for a certain group of learners, aiming at improving the effectiveness of Business Chinese course, not only addressing learners' particular needs and wants but also taking account of understanding of the processes of language learning.

Technology in language teaching and classroom management by Weizhi Zhang

My research interest is to use existing apps and technology in Chinese teaching and classroom management. Right now I am using ClassDojo to manage class with reasonable effect in primary and low middle schools. I use Quizlet to teach new words and Book Creator and iTunes U to organise my teaching, use Seesaw to deliver feedback and collect homework, Socrative and Kahoot for testing.

Research into Culture Factors of Chinese in Steps by Yajie Li

Language and culture are closely linked, mutually influencing and interacting, but there are lots of differences between them. In second language teaching, teachers are expected to combine language teaching with culture in their teaching practice. Based on past research, culture factors can be broadly divided into four categories: daily life, history and culture, the social humanities and the festival customs.

It is recognised that understanding students’ needs for culture and meeting their needs help them to master the language. I apply the classification framework to group the cultural topics in Chinese in Steps volume 1 to 3 and use the classification to design questionnaires and conduct interviews among students and teachers using the textbooks. Analysis will be made to explain to what extent the existing topics are meeting the needs of the students and what additional materials may be useful in supplementing the available topics.

How to use new media to enhance teaching and learning by Xiaotian Zhou

My research focuses on how to use new media to design classroom activities and improve classroom efficiency. In the process of teaching languages courses, I noted that sometimes the traditional classroom activities were inefficient. Therefore, I tried new media in the vocabulary and grammar teaching. For example, use Quizlet to review the new vocabulary, Kahoot for grammar exercises. It proves effective in student engagement and classroom discussion. The classroom atmosphere has been livened up, and the teaching effect has also been significantly improved.

Chinese pinyin orthography by Shuang Hong

My research investigates whether the young British students who have learned Chinese for a few days can discriminate between Chinese pinyin and English orthographic patterns. I use the dictionary task to compare the results of different language ability levels. My initial investigation suggests that with the learning of Chinese, British students make improvement in their abilities of orthography and identify ways to improve students’ orthography through Chinese.

Research into cross-culture adaption of Chinese teacher at Manchester Confucius Institute by Guangce Lin

Chinese teachers face the problem of cross-culture adaption when they come to teach at the Confucius Institutes worldwide. Poor adaptation could lead to undesirable results such as ineffective Chinese language teaching and psychologic pressure experienced by the Chinese teachers themselves. My research investigates issues faced by Chinese teachers in cross-culture adaption, especially at work. It is expected that the findings will help teachers to formulate effective strategies in their adaptation to the new work environment.

Teaching Chinese language as a second language and Chinese culture promotion by Yueru Li

  • Design and Implementation of a Multimedia Digital Classroom - Take Lew-porter School Confucius Classroom as an example. People’s forum, 12/2015
  • Research on the Utilization of Shandong Culture Resources in Foreign Students Teaching. Research Program at Provincial Level, Funded by Shandong Agency for Cultural Affairs, Number: 201001001
  • The Use of Reverse Method in Chinese Language Acquisition. Chinese Education for Adult, 07/2012
  • All-round Education for Foreign Students in the Context of Globalization of Higher Education. Research on Foreign Students Teaching, 12/2011.