Enhancing intercultural communication in teaching chinese as a foreign language : An action research study
Abstract: Over the past few decades, the rapid development of information communication technology, internationalization and globalization worldwide have required a shift in the focus of Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) towards competence in intercultural communication in which the role of culture in the acquisition of CFL and in the pragmatic use of the language is emphasized and promoted. However, most of the current research in this academic area remains only on a theoretical level. Practical examples, particularly with regard to distance learning/teaching of the Chinese language, are very limited. This motivated the implementation of an action research study which aimed at exploring the possibilities and limitations of integrating Chinese culture and applying intercultural communication theory into a contemporary distance CFL course for beginners. By observing and comparing the performance of subjects in the control and experimental groups, this action research study focuses on exploring three basic areas. Firstly, it discloses the cultural elements which underlie effective daily communication. Secondly, it investigates how students acquire cultural knowledge and develop their ability to competently communicate in the target course. And thirdly, it evaluates how the modified course syllabus could enhance students’ intercultural communicative competence. The findings of the research aim to serve as both a resource and reference for educators and researchers who are interested in carrying out reforms and research in this academic domain.
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