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Spring Teacher Institute

"Theme-Based Approach to Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language," presented by Professor Jianhua Bai (Kenyon College), coorganized with Georgia Chinese Language Educators

Time: April 19, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: White Hall 102

Research has shown that the presentation of coherent and meaningful information leads to deeper processing, which results in better learning… Information that has a greater number of connections to related information promotes better learning (Anderson, 1990). Facts and skills taught in isolation need much more practice and rehearsal before they can be internalized or put into long term memory; coherently presented nformation (thematically organized) is easier to remember and leads to improved learning (Singer, 1990). This workshop will deal with the development of the theme-based language teaching and learning, an instructional approach that situate language learning in meaningful and thematic units. Specific examples will be used to illustrate how the concept of theme based language teaching and learning is applied in curriculum design and classroom practice as well.

About the master teacher

Dr. Jianhua Bai is Professor of Chinese and Director of the Kenyon Intensive Language Model (2008-11) at Kenyon College. He also served as Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Lits (2006-08) and as Chair of Kenyon’s Asian Studies Program. He also directs the Chinese School of Middlebury College. He teaches Chinese, linguistics and Chinese language pedagogy courses and also trains, supervises and evaluates teaching assistants of seven world languages.

Professor Bai is a lifetime member of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA), has served on the Executive Board of CLTA for 2 terms (1995-98) (2001-2004), chaired four subcommittees and served as President of CLTA 2003-04. He is currently a board member of the International Society of Chinese Language Teaching.

Professor Bai is also serving as senior advisor (flagship curriculum) for American Council of International Education, chairing (2004-2010) the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam Development Committee and currently serving as College Board Advisor for the AP Chinese development.