Saturday, March 3, 2007

Teach using L2 only

By Katherine Lea

A teacher wrote: “...it was the only book I found with a fairly even Chinese/English mix. We don't learn Chinese by picking up a book written entirely in Chinese (or even pinyin). Why on earth do the Chinese publishers expect students to learn English from a book written entirely in English?”

I'm sorry I can't agree with this. Most Chinese students learn some English at high school and are familiar with the Roman alphabet. Thus from the very beginning it is possible to teach entirely in English If the teacher ensures that the language level used in class is the same OR lower than that of the students.

This type of immersion teaching is very effective is getting students to communicate rapidly in English. Thus the best textbooks on the market here in China are Jack Richards "New Interchange" series which starts with the "Intro" for beginners and goes up to "3" which is for upper Intermediate level.

I have used these books successfully with Beginners and they begin talking from the first lesson.

Chinese English translation textbooks only serve to confuse students as the sentence structures, grammar etc is very different. Students can check unknown vocab in their dictionaries.

1 comment:

J.R. said...

I have used New Interchange and highly recommend it.