Researching and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language <p>This journal is intended for an international audience of scholars, applied linguists, educators and policy makers engaged with Chinese as a foreign language. It offers a forum for presenting work from a range of linguistic sub-fields related to Chinese linguistics, language pedagogy, second-language acquisition, assessment, teacher training and curriculum design. <a href="">Read more</a>.</p> Equinox Publishing Ltd. en-US Researching and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language 2053-1788 <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> The Ideal Foreign Oriented Definition Model of Words with Chinese Characteristics <p>The rapidly growing number of Chinese learners around the world requires us to seek for a more effective definition of Words with Chinese Characteristics (WCCs), which refers to the category of words that bear characteristics of Chinese ethic, life context, natural environment, customs and, religious belief, etc. They reflect the accumulation of Chinese culture. Learning Chinese language is inseparably associated with acquiring certain Chinese culture knowledge. As what Humboldt said, a nation’s language is a nation’s spirit (2005). This study aims at constructing a model for satisfactorily analyzing WCCs from foreigners’ perspective as an important preparing procedure for defining them in the foreign-oriented learning dictionaries. Based on the Ideal Cognitive Model (ICM), the means of structures by which people constantly organize their knowledge (Lakoff 1987: 85), a new model will be effective in describing the WCCs within a theoretical framework connecting language, cognition, and culture. Practically, this study provides samples of defining WCCs and sets up a model of defining them for foreign-oriented dictionaries, helpful for Chinese language learning as SLA. Theoretically, the analysis of these words offers an approach to bringing deeper insight into Chinese language and to appropriately interpreting more culture-loaded words. Furthermore, this study proves the feasibility and advantage of application of cognitive linguistic theories in construing and interpreting language.</p> Wanling Guo Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 3 2 87–112 87–112 10.1558/rtcfl.23164 Varying Shades of Hearing <p>This paper provides an overview of 18 studies from over five decades that have investigated L2 Mandarin Chinese tone perception and the factors influencing it. We examine (1) varying patterns of difficulty of L2 Chinese tone perception and (2) the experiment designs that researchers have used to assess their reported patterns of difficulty. This review delineates the complexity of the current picture of difficulty in L2 Chinese tone perception. By analyzing a set of key issues that this investigation has unveiled, we propose new directions for future research that can enhance experiment designs and pedagogical approaches to tone teaching, while illuminating their intimate connections.</p> Xiaoshi Li Qian Luo Jie Liu Catherine Ryu Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 3 2 113–133 113–133 10.1558/rtcfl.22908 A Comparative Study of the Two Sets of Chinese Textbooks in Singaporean Secondary Schools <p>In the ethnically heterogeneous and linguistically hybrid Singapore, its bilingualism education is characterised by the mandatory mother tongue policy for its three main ethnic groups. For Chinese students’ language acquisition, this is practised in a way that Chinese language instruction in Singapore has been differentiated into four streams according to their individual differences in language proficiency. This study reports the findings obtained from a public funded large-scale empirical research project with a focus on the Mother Tongue Language curriculum in Singapore secondary schools. The questionnaire survey consists of 4811 students from 24 Singaporean secondary schools categorised on the basis of three key family language backgrounds, namely: Chinese-dominant, Chinese-English mixed, and English dominant. Using a comparative study methodology, the study seeks to juxtapose the perceptions of Secondary 2 and 3 students regarding their current language textbooks (developed in 2011) against the textbooks published in 2002. The survey revealed two key findings which highlight the diverse learning needs of students from varying backgrounds, thus indicating a greater and more complex challenge surrounding the revision of upcoming Mother Tongue Language instructional materials. It is our hope that the details of main findings manifested in this study can shed some light on the future endeavours in innovating Chinese education in other parts of the world with the similar sociolinguistic context.</p> Guat Poh Aw Shouhui Zhao Xiangqing Hu Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 3 2 134–162 134–162 10.1558/rtcfl.22907 Systemic Functional Linguistics and the Development of Spoken Chinese Textbooks <p>More than ten thousand spoken Chinese textbooks have been published in the past three decades because of the rise of China and the increasing number of Chinese learners all over the world. None of these textbooks was developed by making reference to the theories of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) both in terms of overall design and the selection of teaching materials. Therefore, this article explores the possibility of developing spoken Chinese textbooks on the basis of SFL theories. There exist many studies in the field of systemic-functional approaches to Chinese, which provide a rich foundation for the analysis of spoken Chinese. Depending on the findings of previous research, the chapter applies the theories of SFL to the development of the spoken Chinese textbook. The chapter first identifies three inadequacies of current Chinese textbooks in terms of grammatical knowledge presentation, the organization of units, and the contextual structure of conversation passages. In particular, three textbooks published respectively in China, Singapore, and the US were selected for illustration. The article then develops a functional framework for the presentation of Chinese grammatical knowledge based on experiential, interpersonal, and textual functions. Moreover, it demonstrates that the arrangement of various units and the structure of sample conversations in Chinese textbooks can be improved using register theory and genre theory respectively. The research contributes to the growing body of research on the teaching of spoken Chinese and the development of effective Chinese textbooks.</p> Yanning Yang Xinming Zhang Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 3 2 163–194 163–194 10.1558/rtcfl.22909