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The Creation of an Active Learning Context for a Chinese Class

Ann Devitt1[1] and Weiming Liu2

  • 1Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 2Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.

Introduction

This chapter presents how the implementation of coteaching promotes an active learning environment in a beginners’ Chinese classroom. Research has examined ways in which students are encouraged to take active participation in learning (Stern 1997; Mabrouk 2007; Clarke 2008). As Mabrouk (2007, p. 2) states, active learning ‘generally refers to those teaching techniques that actively engage students in the classroom’. According to her, active learning allows students to work either independently or in small groups, in small and large classes, at all levels. As to be reviewed in 2.1, coteaching covers a range of learning contexts. However, existing research has not extensively focused on a learning context in which students learn Chinese by participating in student-led coteaching in turn. The current study attempts to address this gap by attesting the possibility for students to drive their own learning in this specific learning context. The authors aim to explore the impact of the implementation of coteaching on students’ learning process in terms of the following research questions: 1) Can coteaching encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and the learning of others? 2) Can coteaching help students to learn the subject knowledge?

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