I5 Teaching Chinese through Performed Culture (Shepherd)

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Teaching Chinese through Performed Culture (I5)
Speakers: Eric Shepherd, Kun Shi, Yongfang Zhang

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I5 Teaching Chinese through Performed Culture (Shepherd)

  1. 1. Learning Chinese: Doing Globally <ul><li>Eric Shepherd </li></ul><ul><li>University of South Florida </li></ul>
  2. 2. Learning in Culture <ul><li>Being exposed to a culture is not enough; There is no magical process of cultural osmosis; It is learned behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Must participate in on-going cultural activities to learn new cultural behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Requires both acculturation and being enculturated/two distinct processes </li></ul><ul><li>Must participate in meaningful roles in culturally significant performances </li></ul><ul><li>Move beyond guest, tourist, and performing monkey roles in target culture ( 对了。 / 哇 ! 你的中文比大山说得还地道! ) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Performance-Based Learning <ul><li>Learning by doing; mimesis </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t know something until you can demonstrate it by doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Only way to develop ability to do something is to do it </li></ul><ul><li>Fail at increasingly higher levels </li></ul><ul><li>Doing meaningful things in culturally appropriate ways </li></ul>
  4. 4. Learning in Chinese culture <ul><li>Focus on behavioral culture and social interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese culture is the goal and standard </li></ul><ul><li>Requires changing behaviors so learner sticks out less culturally (blunting “foreign-ness”) </li></ul><ul><li>Not becoming Chinese but developing a new set of cultural skills to add to our existing repertoire </li></ul><ul><li>Gaining empathy/learning to understand the world from a new perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to play a new game </li></ul><ul><li>Rules of the game differ across cultures! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Teaching Language in Culture <ul><li>Language and culture cannot be separated in the teaching of FL and threshold higher for Chinese than for other languages/cultures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral culture/hidden culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achievement culture/Peking opera, paper cuts, dumplings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot simply teach about Chinese (declarative knowledge); must also teach how to in Chinese culture (procedural) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If simply teach linguistic code, not only not preparing our students for the real world, but also setting them up for failure </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral culture, like other learned behaviors, can should/be taught </li></ul>
  6. 6. Combining Traditional/Non-Traditional Approaches <ul><li>B.C. often not taught because “too difficult”/large amount of preparation; a text provides an easy to follow framework for lesson </li></ul><ul><li>Textual focus often at expense of language use </li></ul><ul><li>Culture has patterns and structures that are recognizable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often only implicitly to its members; “that’s just how we do it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We notice structure when it breaks down; “look at that weird foreigner” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We become aware of “rules” when someone does not follow them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs to be but is not a regular part of our pedagogical materials, learning activities, and teaching approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Native/Experienced Non-native Team teaching leads to “Smart Learning” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Units of Culture <ul><li>There are recurring, isolatable events that provide the social contexts for participants’ behaviors and shape the construction of shared meanings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyzable units/segments in the flow of human social activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These repeatable units make culture learnable </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Performance <ul><li>Cultural (including linguistic code) learning can be facilitated by isolating recurrent structures and associated rules to be used in guided trial and error participation in commonly occurring contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Performances are learnable segments of culture/5 elements: 1) location; 2) time; 3) roles; 4) scripts; 5) audience </li></ul><ul><li>Developing new set of cultural skills; best learned through mimetic learning (performance, doing) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Performed Culture <ul><li>Structure learning environments and learning experiences around commonly encountered target culture performances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher’s role shifts from disseminator of information to constructor of contexts/coach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burden responsibility for learning/preparation to student </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learners rehearse scripts, skills and behaviors necessary to participate in performances by using them in simulated contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Foster ability to use linguistically accurate, culturally appropriate language while interacting with Chinese people </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on use; realistic; practical; interesting for learner (and teacher!) </li></ul>
  10. 10. We Can’t Learn It for Them! <ul><li>Students must develop new habits/behaviors if they are to be successful performing Chinese culture over the long term </li></ul><ul><li>To develop new behaviors they must do things themselves = autonomous learners; guided/scaffolded performances </li></ul><ul><li>百闻不如一见 /Hearing it 100 times is not as effective as seeing it once </li></ul><ul><li>百见不如亲自动手做一遍 /Seeing it 100 times is not as effective as doing it once </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t become Ms. Othmar! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shifting to grammar explanation mode </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Not Adapting Chinese to Americans! <ul><li>Our students must reduce accommodation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More work Chinese interlocutors have to do, higher the likelihood English becomes the mode of communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They accomplish this by syncing (culturally calibrating behavior) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our students must develop ability to think in Chinese </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish Chinese intentions/intentions recognized by Chinese </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t go through English/American culture filter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can’t do this if we adapt Chinese to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do this first through mimetic learning, then through trial and error </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you communicate with your students in English, you have removed their motivation for learning Chinese from the classroom and increased the amount of time it will take them to learn Chinese! </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>To get around base culture filter, help them imitate correct way of doing (including saying) things </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mimetic learning; imitate behaviors (and language) that fits Chinese ways of establishing intentions (ways of thinking) and that are culturally appropriate (for Chinese culture not American) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Target culture is standard </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Building Performances <ul><li>Performance-based regimen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Repetitive cycles of increasingly sophisticated guided rehearsal enacting commonly encountered social situations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cyclical (re)-presentation of target knowledge and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Same information presented at different times and in different ways </li></ul>
  14. 14. Building Performances <ul><li>Repeated rehearsal-performances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners gradually compile complex but integrated memory of each performance by adding new layers (verbal script, movements, expressions, voice intonation and inflection, voices and personalities, moods, and feelings) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow them to rehearse target contexts; follow that with contextualized practice with feedback; context elicits performance of target language and behaviors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each subsequent return to performance focuses on higher level aspects of performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Layers of memory formed earlier—verbal script, movements, etc.—require less and less conscious attention, freeing up mental faculties to attend to higher level phenomena </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Cycle of Automatization <ul><li>Repeated rehearsal performances = forced over practice of fundamental structures and skills in context </li></ul><ul><li>Learners develop routinized mastery of performance skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Move them from conscious to subconscious level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attentional faculties freed up to deal with the new elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think of learning to play piano…you don’t have to think about your fingers after hours of practice </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Automatization/Internalization <ul><li>Teacher helps learner to undo routine to achieve higher levels of competence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Refocus learner attention on higher level aspects of each performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring new aspects of performance into conscious awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As students get words down, has them re-perform to correct tones, intonation, interpretation of meanings, facial expressions, movements and so on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trajectory of deepening complexity </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Layered Memories <ul><li>A verbal script </li></ul><ul><li>Movements </li></ul><ul><li>Facial expressions </li></ul><ul><li>Variation of script within context </li></ul><ul><li>Mood, voice, intonation and inflection </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings/emotions </li></ul>
  18. 18. Application: Preparation <ul><li>First encounters </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual information (time, place, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal script (grammatical structures, greetings vocabulary necessary to engage in performance; linguistic code) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural script (sociocultural information necessary to perform appropriately; social roles, titles, etc.) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Application: Performance <ul><li>1 st time-production (getting the words out) </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd time-accurate production (getting them out right) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tones wrong, initials sh and x are the same, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 rd time-adding body movements/body language </li></ul><ul><li>4 th time-adding facial expressions </li></ul><ul><li>5 th -variation in and of context </li></ul>
  20. 20. Feedback Loop <ul><li>Important reason American students do not move beyond intermediate level…..lack of structured and informational feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Informational Feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student knows what problem is AND how to fix it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>对了!真棒!很好!不错! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Then student re-performs while teacher refocuses attention on different aspect of performance </li></ul><ul><li>Use narrative to tie everything together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Memorable, interesting </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Monitoring Performance <ul><li>Ask new learners to evaluate performances of their peers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster exocentric view of performance (view of performance from without) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acutely aware of performance elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Require them to remain engaged while others perform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposes to elements the would not encounter as quickly on their own </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Enabling Learner to Take Over Correction <ul><li>Metareflection focuses learner attention making them hyperaware of each aspect of their own performances as well as well as those of their peers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to innovative learner moves and the use of strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fosters learner metacognitive review of performance and performance related knowledge as well as the ability to mentally multitask </li></ul><ul><li>Enables learner to eventually take over own correction monitoring….self correction </li></ul>
  23. 23. Application <ul><li>Teachers often reluctant to make the metacognitive portion of the training explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid making students endure being critiqued in front of others (They can take it. Really. They actually want it!) </li></ul><ul><li>Separate metacognitive analysis from actual performance (grade sheet, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Shift to explanation of context rather than evaluation of performance ( jiang ke, jiang bu wan ) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Bungling Performances <ul><li>Force learner into discomfort zone: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate opportunities for learner to transfer what have learned to varying contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try out what they had learned in multiple settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make them operate at outer edge of competence; must fail to move up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenging but doable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learner takes risks in real world contexts where consequences lowered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Swimming; not floating, not sinking </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Providing Chances for Success and Failure <ul><li>If students are successful in Chinese, they have a sense of accomplishment, motivation, and the memory of the experience that they can use once in China </li></ul><ul><ul><li>usable cultural memory that prepares students for future performances in the target culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Failure indicates to both teacher and students where problems lie </li></ul><ul><ul><li>levels of “knowing”…1) Don’t know and don’t know you don’t know; 2) Know you don’t know; 3) Know and know you know; 4) Know and don’t know you know </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from mistakes; gain feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Intrinsic motivation initiated; much more useful than extrinsic motivation like grades and punishment </li></ul>
  26. 26. Constructing Context <ul><li>Select contexts: most commonly occurring (IN CHINA!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this something that your students (not you) will encounter/need to know how to do? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Simulated context; real communication </li></ul><ul><li>Specific but not too specific; applicable to other situations, transfer of knowledge is possible </li></ul><ul><li>Context must be clear; can be complex but students must be able to immediately know where we are, who we are, what time it is, and what we are doing </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic context is important but even more important is the linguistic/cultural task within the context </li></ul>
  27. 27. Reverse Engineering <ul><li>Build in five elements of a performance </li></ul><ul><li>Roles: Who are they? What is relationship? </li></ul><ul><li>Audience? </li></ul><ul><li>Time? </li></ul><ul><li>Location? </li></ul><ul><li>Script (What are they saying and what are they doing with that saying?) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List all related language, select target language/behaviors for lesson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check to see if can recycle? Add new things ? </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Constructing Context <ul><li>Select props (no props just to have props, must have function, provide information) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t provide too much information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pictures very clear (glass half empty) </li></ul><ul><li>Most important prop = Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Context must have “multi-modal elements”; speech, behavior, visual, aural </li></ul><ul><li>Set up room, physical classroom </li></ul><ul><li>Arrange sequence of events (time, difficulty, naturalness, rhythm) </li></ul>
  29. 29. Embedding <ul><li>Select target language based on context rather than traditional method of explaining grammar points </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize most commonly occurring contexts, most important language to naturally participate in those contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Can I elicit the use of the target language? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I get the students to use the target language without telling them to use it (not natural context of use) </li></ul><ul><li>Embed target dialog in larger context of story </li></ul>
  30. 30. Elicitation/Discovery Learning <ul><li>Let students figure it out on their own; don’t feed them </li></ul><ul><li>Let students discover it on their own; don’t ruin it for them </li></ul><ul><li>Most effective technique is to elicit the context and student use rather than explanation or demonstration ( 行李 / 谢谢。。。椅子 / 请坐 ) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Extrapolating/Stretching <ul><li>Wait for students/give students room to extrapolate ( 演义 / 伸展 ) or expand upon target </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage adding contextually and culturally appropriate language and behavior </li></ul><ul><li>When one adds something, the next will do that and add something else of his/her own </li></ul><ul><li>Gradually complete the construction of the context </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of class, doing some pretty sophisticated things </li></ul><ul><li>Comes AFTER culturally appropriate model is down </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Ni hao. </li></ul><ul><li>Ni hao. </li></ul><ul><li>Lao Bai, ni hao. </li></ul><ul><li>Xiao Wang, ni hao. </li></ul><ul><li>Zaijian. </li></ul><ul><li>Ni zuijin zenmeyang? </li></ul><ul><li>Ni ne? </li></ul>
  33. 33. Application <ul><li>1 st -getting the words out </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd -getting them out accurately </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd -movements </li></ul><ul><li>4 th -facial expressions </li></ul><ul><li>5 th -manipulation-variation-change roles one of higher status, change of status ( ni/nin ) + body language, eye contact, etc.; change age, name, time, location, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>6 th -sophistication in manipulation </li></ul>
  34. 34. Application <ul><li>Dialog between two people </li></ul><ul><li>Change the role of one of the participants </li></ul><ul><li>After several successful performances of the fixed situation involving a man and a woman, we can change it to two males, change the age, social status, etc. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Application <ul><li>Give learners experience assuming these different roles </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to begin to empathize with the different types of roles available in the target culture </li></ul><ul><li>Need to see the different roles performed and need to try them each on for size </li></ul>
  36. 36. Application <ul><li>Any element of the performance can be varied </li></ul><ul><li>Location can shift </li></ul><ul><li>Time can be altered </li></ul><ul><li>Audience can change </li></ul><ul><li>We can also change some element of the verbal script </li></ul><ul><li>If the context involves buying things, prices and numbers can be changed, etc. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Application <ul><li>Key is that change should require adaptation of either the verbal or behavioral script on the part of the learner </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging (nontrivial) but doable </li></ul><ul><li>Forces students to deal with a novel situation </li></ul><ul><li>Gives them opportunities to have successes and failures in the target culture </li></ul>
  38. 38. Application <ul><li>Performance in varied context also shows students their growing mastery </li></ul><ul><li>What areas they have yet to master </li></ul><ul><li>Generates intrinsic motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery learning (Gee)-learning on one’s own, more effective than hours of explanation </li></ul>

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