Textbook Writers’ Perspectives on Theoretical Frameworks in Beginning and Intermediate Chinese Textbooks

Jing Wang, Thomas A Upton


This article explores textbook writers’ perspectives on theoretical frameworks in beginning and intermediate Chinese textbooks. Four prominent textbook authors were interviewed, and modified structured interviews were used. Interview data reflect the following three trends. (1) Four textbook authors had different foci in applying in their textbooks widely accepted principles of second language acquisition and approaches to second language teaching. (2) While all four textbook authors guide the teaching of language structures by communicative functions and relate the teaching with culture, they use one of the two methods in the process: practicing language structures and then completing communicative activities or completing communicative activities to learn grammatical structures. (3) The four textbook authors show distinctive features in their textbooks: grounding communicative Chinese language instruction in U.S.-specific language, educational and social contexts; enabling communication through setting up frameworks of language structures; developing proficiency by providing relevant materials in practical and manageable steps; motivating students by engaging them in communicative activities. Pedagogical application of the above findings in teaching Chinese as a foreign language is discussed.


beginning and intermediate Chinese textbooks; theoretical frameworks; second language acquisition; second language teaching; textbook writers

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ISSN 2045-4031. University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013.