Report on Attending the the 7th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy
By Ninghui Liang
I attended the 7th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy, held at Guilin, China from August 1-4, 2009. This conference is hosted jointly by Guangxi Normal University, Yale University, the University of Vermont, the University of Hawaii, and the City University of New York. It provides professional development opportunities, resources and opportunities for language instructors to interact and share ideas and experiences.
I presented my paper “Developing Chinese Literacy Skills for Heritage Learners at College Level” at the conference and received good comments. Many attendees showed their interest in my presentation and we discussed a lot as to the importance, the detail methods and the achievement of using technology in improving the students’ Chinese literacy skills.
Of all the presentations I attended, I was particularly interested in the following. One was “The Research on ZiZu Characters Teaching” given by Hongqing Yang. It talked about learning characters through their shapes. He created lots of poems with characters with similar shapes, same radicals, or same phonetic parts. Although not all the characters could be analyzed that way, it was indeed an efficient and fun way to learn lots of characters through one poem. Another presentation talked about using RICH, a free online program, in language learning. It was a very powerful application for recording, uploading, mixing and interacting. You could make interactive quizzes, Jeopardy-like games, or even create your own podcasts. Most useful to Chinese learners, it could record the stroke order of your character writing. For a long time, Chinese teachers have not found an effective way to strengthen and test students’ knowledge of stroke order. Finally we got one!
I sincerely appreciate the financial support from the Yale Center of Language Study. Attending this international conference has improved my professional competence by broadening my knowledge, opening my eyes and keeping me abreast of the times.