Jingzi Huang, Ph.D
Associate Professor
Monmouth University
NJ, USA
[email protected]
Guiding Questions:

Facing the requirement for standardsbased foreign language instruction, what
are the Chinese teachers struggling with
in their effort to align their teaching with
the national standards?

Can successful foreign language
program models provide helpful
implications for Chinese teaching?
Background of the Study
Five Cs for learners (ACTFL,1996): Goals for
Foreign Language Learning





Communicate in Language Other Than
English
Gain Knowledge & Understanding of Other
Culture
Connect with Other Disciplines & Acquire
New Information
Develop Insight into the Nature of
Language & Culture (through Comparison)
Participate in Multilingual Communities at
Home and Around the World
Background of the Study
ACTFL (2002) SPA Standards for Teachers:

ACTFL SPA Standard 2. Cultures, Literatures, Cross-Disciplinary
Concepts. Candidates (a) demonstrate that ... they integrate the
cultural framework for foreign language standards into their
instructional practices; (b) ... and (c) integrate knowledge of other
disciplines into foreign language instruction and identify distinctive
viewpoints accessible only through the target language.

ACTFL SPA Standard 4. Integration of Standards into Curriculum
and Instruction. Candidates (a) demonstrate an understanding of the
goal areas and standards of the Standards for Foreign Language
Learning and their state standards, and they integrate these
frameworks into curricular planning; (b) integrate the Standards for
Foreign Language Learning and their state standards into language
instruction; and (c) use standards and curricular goals to evaluate,
select, design, and adapt instructional resources.
Background of the Study
A need to address the standards in a
systematic way:
 The National Standards (ACTFL 1996)
specifically require attention to the
integration of content and culture into the
teaching of foreign languages.
Nevertheless, classroom language
teachers find themselves struggling in an
effort to address the linguistic and the
content/cultural goals in an integrated way.
Struggles Experienced by Teachers:

Public Schools

Heritage Weekend Chinese Schools
Content Knowledge
Activities
Linguistic Resources
Text Structures
lexis
grammar
A Field Tested Model (Huang and Mohan, 2009):
The Knowledge Framework (Mohan 1986)
Classification
Principles
Evaluation
Description
Sequence
Choice
Background Knowledge
Action Situation
Setting:
Elementary school in Western Canada
where dominant language and culture is
English.
Participants

A Canadian-born Chinese Canadian whose
strongest language is English and who is fluent in
Cantonese. Mandarin Chinese is her second
language which she acquired later as a university
student.

Students: 23 students who started the program in
year 1 at the ages of 8 and 9 in third and fourth
grades and continued into year 3. All speak
English as their first language with no Chinese
backgrounds except for one boy who is from
Cantonese cultural background.
Data collection: three years
Data sources:
 observation;
 field notes;
 student written work;
 audio taped oral products;
 video taped lessons;
 informal interview;
 lesson notes from the teacher;
 curriculum and instructional resources and
materials.
Findings: Year 1 activities conducted on the topic of
Family (Huang, 2003b)
Classification




Principles
Evaluation
IDENTIFYING family
members
Creating a family tree
CLASSIFYING family
members by height

Engage in the process of 
writing a short play
depicting a Chinese
family at meal time
according to cultural
customs: REASON the 
motives of including the
lines in the play
SURVEY THE CLASS’
PREFERENCE for the
number of siblings and
create a bar graph
showing the result
MAKING COMMENTS
on the skit role played by
classmate
DESCRIBING family
members by age and
height


Role play the skit
Making a paper cat
follow the correct
SEQUENCE (Chinese
folk art)

REPORT THE RESULT
of the class survey on
preference for number of
siblings
Description
Sequence
Choice
Findings: Year 3 Activities Conducted around the KF
on the Topic of Personal Information (Huang, 2003a)
Classification
Principles
Evaluation

CLASSIFYING people
into those who attend
school and those who
don't; those who work
and those who don't

EXPLAINING the

REASONS you engage
in three major daily
activities

DESCRIBING yourself
and your classmates by
name, age, sex, grade,
nationality, etc.
DESCRIBING yourself
and/or your family

SEQUENCING your
daily activities.

Description
Sequence

EVALUATING your daily
life and the life of a
Chinese elementary school
student by COMPARING
and CONTRASTING
them
Showing your PERSONAL
PREFERENCE for the
kind of daily life
Choice
Findings: Grammatical and lexical systems (Halliday 1994,
Martin 1992) through which semantic relations are reflected:
Form-Function Relations in Student Discourse (Monhand &
Huang, 2002)
General
Theoretical
Level
Specific
Practical
Level
CLASSIFICATION
PRINCIPLES
EVALUATION
* Generic Reference
* Relational Process
* Additive Conjunction
* Taxonomic,
Part/Whole Lexis
* Generic Reference
* Material Process
* Consequential
Conjunction
* Cause-Effect Lexis
* Generic Reference
* Mental Process
* Comparative
Conjunction
* Evaluative Lexis
* Specific Reference
* Relational, Existential
Process
* Additive Conjunction
* Attributive Lexis
* Specific Reference
* Material Process
* Temporal Conjunction
* Sequential Lexis
* Specific Reference
* Mental Process
* Alternative Conjunction
* Oppositional, Choice
Lexis
DESCRIPTION
SEQUENCE
CHOICE
Findings: A Spanish Example (Huang & Facer, 2009)
- Unit Design Addressing Five Cs: Schools in the US and Argentina
Classification
Principles
Evaluation
Content Outcome:

identify and classify: regions, countries, and
their capitals that speak Spanish;

Students will be able to identify and classify
items found in schools in Argentina and the US
Connection
Content Outcome:
Content Outcome:

explain how the school year is organized in

Based on differences between schools in the
Argentina;
US and Argentina, justify the preference for a

explain the basic school system in Argentina and
school system
the vocational tracking system
Culture
Comparison, Community
Language Outcome:

use vocabulary words from the list when
categorizing items: El caribe Puerto Rico, San
Juan, puertorriqueño (countires)

use vocabulary words from the list when
categorizing items. Words: escuela,
lápiz,bolígrafo,libro puerta, bus escolar, mochila
(scholl supplies)
Communication
Language Outcome:

use the wording for seasons (summer, winter,
spring, and fall) indicating conditions when
explaining the school year.

explain the tracking system with the use of
specific vocabulary indicating results: escuela,
colegio, polymordial, año
Language Outcome:

become familiar with and use phrases of like
/dislike... because... Me gusta/ no me gusta
... when expressing justified preference.
Communication
Communication
Description
Sequence
Choice
Content Outcome:

describe people from those countries.
Content Outcome:

sequence the school system in Argentina
Content Outcome:

choose what school system they prefer
according to the cultural information, using
the Venn diagram created in previous lesson
Comparison, Community
Culture, Connection
Culture
Language Outcome:

try to use adjectives that describe the people
from those countries such as Argentino,
colombiano, chileno etc.
Communication
Language Outcome :
Language Outcome:

participate in a discussion about the sequence of 
oral story about a perfect day, using
the school system using primero, proximo (First,
expressions such as I prefer, rather, in my
next)
opinion, I choose.
Communication
Communication
Conclusions (Huang and Mohan,
2009):
At the curriculum level:
 Embrace the five Cs in an integrated way
At the level of activities:
 Integrate language and content systematically;
 Bring about a wide range of form-function
connections.
References
ACTFL (1996). Standards for foreign language learning: Preparing for the 21 st century. Lawrence, KS: Allen Press, Inc.
ACTFL (2002). ACTFL Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers .
http://www.ncate.org/documents/ProgramStandards/actfl2002.pdf
Halliday, M. A. K. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar (2nd Ed.). London: Edward Arnold.
Huang, J. (2003a) Activities as a Vehicle for Linguistic and Sociocultural Knowledge at the Elementary Level. Language
Teaching Research 7, (2), pp. 3-33.
Huang, J. (2003b). A Content-Based Approach to Achieving the Dual Goals of Language and Culture Learning for Young
Beginners – A Case Study of an Elementary “Mandarin Chinese as a Foreign Language Program”. Language, Culture &
Curriculum 16 (1), pp. 70 - 89.
Huang, J. & Facer, C. (2009). A Functional Approach to a Culture-Based Language Curriculum – When goals of foreign
language education go beyond language. Paper presented at the 36th International Systemic Functional Conference, July
14 - 18, Beijing, China
Huang, J. & Mohan, B. (2009). A Functional Approach to Integrated Assessment of Teacher Support and Student Discourse
Development in an Elementary Chinese Program. Linguistics and Education 20, pp. 22-38.
Huang, J. & Morgan, G. (2003). A Functional Approach to Evaluating Content Knowledge and Language Development in ESL
Students’ Science Classification Texts. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 13, (2), pp.234-262.
Martin, J. (1992). English text. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.
Mohan, B. & Huang, J. (2002). Assessing the Integration of Language and Content in a Mandarin as a Foreign Language
Classroom. Linguistics and Education, 13 (3), pp. 405-433.
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