Monday, July 23rd, 2018

Articles

AP Chinese Language and Culture

The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is designed to be comparable to fourth semester (or the equivalent) college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese.  These college courses, which deepen students’ immersion into the language and culture of the Chinese-speaking world, typically represent the point at which students complete approximately 250 hours of college-level classroom instruction. Course work
provides students with opportunities to perform Intermediate- to Advanced-level tasks, and students are expected to achieve proficiencies throughout, and sometimes beyond, the Intermediate range, as described in the American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines.

The AP course prepares students to demonstrate their level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) and the five goal areas (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. Its aim is to provide students with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop their proficiencies across the full range of language skills within a cultural frame of reference reflective of the richness of Chinese
language and culture. AP Chinese Language and Culture teachers plan and implement a course that focuses on language proficiency while interweaving level- and age-appropriate cultural content throughout the course and providing for frequent formative assessment of students’ developing proficiencies within the context of their learning . Instructional materials and activities are carefully and strategically adapted
from authentic sources to support the linguistic and cultural goals of the course.

Content and Skills
Developing students’ awareness and appreciation of the elements of the culture of Chinese-speaking people is a pervasive theme throughout the AP Chinese Language and Culture course. The course engages students in an exploration of both contemporary and historical Chinese culture. Because the course interweaves language and culture learning, this exploration occurs in Chinese. 

Students learn about various aspects of contemporary Chinese society, including geography and population, ethnic and regional diversity, travel and transportation, climate and weather, holidays and food, sports and games, and current affairs. They also explore the realm of Chinese societal relationships, examining how individuals interact with family members, elders, and peers, and integrate this knowledge into their interpersonal communications. 

The course introduces students to significant persons, products, and themes in Chinese history. This introduction may touch on such topics as Chinese contributions to philosophical thought, government institutions, and artistic pursuits (e .g ., calligraphy, painting, literature, and music, as well as folk arts and culture).


The course also views Chinese culture in an international context. Students learn that Chinese culture has spread to many parts of the world, influencing and being influenced by the global community. For example, they develop an awareness of China’s role in issues of global importance, concerning areas such as energy and the environment, economics, and politics. 

The course helps students broaden their world view by comparing Chinese cultural products, practices, and perspectives with those of their own society. With this background, students can ultimately move beyond a basic knowledge of the products and practices of Chinese culture to an understanding of how these products and practices reflect a Chinese way of viewing the world. 

Students apply their growing cultural knowledge to communicative tasks: cultural knowledge informs communicative ability and vice versa. Because language and culture are inseparable, knowledge of Chinese culture is an integral part of the AP Chinese Language and Culture course.

Throughout the course, students hone their language skills across the three communicative modes: Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational. In so doing, they develop necessary knowledge of the Chinese language, including pronunciation, vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures, and written characters.