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Multimedia Teaching in Chinese Courses: Practices and Suggestions

Chinese Language Teachers Association Annual Meeting,


A discussion of multimedia teaching techniques for second language instruction looks at the current state of educational technology for college-level Chinese language teaching, then focuses on practices for teaching Chinese at Smith College (Massachusetts). Truly multimedia materials, which use computer software, compact discs, video, slides, and overhead projection in various combinations, are found only for pronunciation instruction and intermediate-to-advanced reading instruction. At Smith College, the guiding principle for multimedia use is to increase exposure to the Chinese language environment, contributing to more efficient use of class time. Students are assigned work in the language laboratory or dorm (with computer link to the campus network). Pronunciation materials have been found effective here. Assignments are given and grammar notes are summarized on a class home page, particularly useful for students in the five-college consortium who live off campus. Student reading of texts is recorded in the lab, with teacher feedback provided on computer. More advanced readings will have to be developed because edited materials already on the Internet are limited. Despite its advantages, multimedia technology has two drawbacks: it can consume too much student time, and can not replace oral language or character-writing practice. Also the issue of standardization must be addressed. (MSE)


Fu, H. (1996). Multimedia Teaching in Chinese Courses: Practices and Suggestions. Presented at Chinese Language Teachers Association Annual Meeting 1996. Retrieved November 29, 2021 from .

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