Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Character Issue and Other Considerations

Department

Modern Languages & Literatures Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

This Round-Table panel will use a recent Chronicle post entitled More on How to Argue for Foreign-Language Instruction (March 2, 2012) and Victor Mairs statement that Its a tragedy that so many young Americans spend years stuffing their heads with hundreds of Chinese characters, gaining no usable proficiency, and then forgetting them all by the time theyre 25 as the springboard for the discussion of various concerns and debates about Chinese language instruction in the United States. The panel consists of four participants and one moderator, each with a different perspective and response to the debate. Topics will include what the virtues (if any) of learning Chinese characters are, when and whether traditional and simplified characters should be taught, and the role of advanced technologies. Three of the participants are professors of Chinese Language and Literature and one is a professor of Japanese Language and Literature. The moderator comes from the field of Comparative Literature with expertise in Western Classics and East Asian Studies.

Conference Name

61st Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

Conference Location

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

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