pISSN : 1976-1961

Teaching Chinese Literacy in the Early Years: A Comparison of L1 and L2 Preschool Classrooms in Shenzhen and Singapore


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.

Keyword :

teaching Chinese literacy,early years






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