Teaching English as a foreign language to young Chinese children

Yanling ZHOU, Catherine MCBRIDE-CHANG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

Studies have extended the understanding of English phonological awareness and other oral language and metalinguistic skills in learning English as a second language (ESL) in the context of English speaking cultures to learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in the context of non-English speaking cultures, including Chinese societies. Chinese societies share a language that differs strongly in various features, both oral and written, from those of English. One issue that is sometimes neglected in the literature is the difference between the teaching of ESL and EFL in different social and cultural contexts. Indeed, in the teaching of very young children who are developing their first language proficiency at the same time they are learning a foreign language, oral language ability and literacy skills in English are often assumed to develop concurrently and even to facilitate one another. At the same time, however, developmentally, young children's oral language provides the strongest base for literacy development, with print being introduced only years later, in the native language. Few studies have considered possible differences in approaches to language and literacy in teaching very young Chinese children English as a foreign language in the EFL context. Thus, in this chapter, we suggest ways to teach young Chinese EFL children, beginning first with a focus on oral language skills and only later moving onto literacy skills that build on the oral language base. Copyright © 2011 Nova Science Publishers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage teaching: Techniques, developments and effectiveness
EditorsCarmine A. HERNANDEZ
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc
Pages137-154
ISBN (Print)9781616688349
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Citation

Zhou, Y., & McBride-Chang, C. (2011). Teaching English as a foreign language to young Chinese children. In C. A. Hernandez (Ed.), Language teaching: Techniques, developments and effectiveness (pp. 137-154). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

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