Teaching Chinese Literacy in the Early Years: A Comparison of L1 and L2 Preschool Classrooms in Shenzhen and Singapore
AUTHOR : Hui Li
INFORMATION : page. 19~43 / 2013 Vol.7 No.3
This study aims to understand the similarities and differences in early Chinese literacy pedagogies
between L1 Shenzhen and L2 Singapore preschools. Twelve classes were observed for a total of 180
hours, and the 12 Chinese teachers were surveyed and interviewed about the beliefs underpinning their
teaching of literacy. A similar pattern of Chinese literacy pedagogy was shared by L1 and L2 classrooms,
with whole class direct instruction/interaction being the dominant mode. A belief-practice gap was found:
Although the teachers believed in balanced approaches to teaching Chinese literacy, they predominantly
engaged in traditional, instructional practice. In L2 Singapore classrooms, traditional Chinese literacy
pedagogies were tempered by more Western ideas. The common difficulties encountered in L1 literacy
classrooms were different from those found in L2 classrooms, and most of the L1 and L2 difficulties
were associated with the language and education policies. The sociocontextual, psycholinguistic and
pedagogical accounts and the educational implications of these findings are also discussed.
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