Acting According to Circumstances: Bridging the Gap between the Modules in CFL Learning and Corresponding Strategies

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This paper reports on how Chinese modules have been structured within the BA honoursin Applied Languages and Translation at Ulster University, UK. There are only three modules in total: one in the first semester of Year 1, one in the first semester of Year 2, and then one in the second semester in Final Year (Year 4). As language learning is an ongoing process, this structure is problematic because it leaves intervals of one semester in each year, and an even wider gap of two years between the first semester of second year and the second semester of Final Year (Year 4); during Year 3 students normally spend a year in a European country but not in China. Consequently, potential risks occur: forgetting what was learnt before, losing interest, or giving up to choose other courses for fear of failing in Chinese. This report focuses on the strategies adopted in order to sustain students’ motivation by bridging the gaps in this area, such as organising an HSK training course, cultural events, and topic seminars, plus the development of a new programme. As this is a unique situation in CFL learning, rather than testing any existing theoretical framework, this report presents the data based on the author’s one year practical teaching experience on the above programme, the observation of students’learning, the encouragement of students’ motivation, assessment, achievement and feedback, asevidence to demonstrate the possibility of solving the gap problem and the importance of programme development and revalidation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecent Developments of Chinese Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Applied Chinese Language Studies VI.
EditorsZhiyan Guo, Binghan Zheng
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)978-1-907838-44-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Jun 2015


  • Chinese as a foreign language (CFL)
  • Applied Languages & Translation (ALT)
  • motivation
  • cultural knowledge


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