As Chinese emerges to be an international language, an increase in the demand for teachers of Chinese world-wide has attracted graduates from various background to develop a possible career of becoming a teacher of Chinese. One way of joining the teaching force is to further their studies in the field of teaching Chinese as an international language. Among all postgraduate programmes in this field, a distinctive feature of the one-year full-time MATCH programme offered by the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) is a course component of Field Experience (FE), which is a six- week block practice to take place either in an international school in Hong Kong or in a local school overseas. To evaluate the effectiveness of the overall design of the FE component in the programme, this paper examines the FE reflective journals written by the first two cohorts of participants (N=53) through content analysis. The focus of analysis is around what the participants considered as the most valuable experience and what they saw as inadequacies in their internship. In addition, data collected from verbal sharing and group presentation at the FE debriefings are used to supplement findings from the reflective journals. Results of the analyses suggest that classroom teaching is not at all easier for postgraduate students. Without hands-on experiences, participants in this programme recognized that they did not realize the genuine challenges in teaching Chinese as an international language.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|