The topic of four texts for senior secondary students with advanced or upper intermediate language level of Chinese is about dining in a Chinese restaurant. It is under one of four prescribed themes ‘Leisure, recreation and human creativity’ in the Chinese Senior Syllabus required by QCAA (2008). The unit mainly focuses on introducing Chinese food culture and dining etiquette. Through learning of this unit, apart from mastering linguistic features in both spoken and written language and improving receptive and productive communication capabilities, students can enhance their inter-culture knowledge and competence and effective communicative skills required by the QCAA Senior Syllabus (refer to the Syllabus).
Authentic Texts for Four Macro Skills
In recent decades, much attention is paid to advocating text authenticity in language teaching. For more advanced language learners, authentic materials could be effectively used to challenge learners’ intelligence and language proficiency. Morrow (1977, p. 13) claims that “An authentic text is a stretch of real language, produced by a real speaker or writer for a real audience and designed to convey a real message of some sort”. Apparently, apart from pragmatic function for communication, authentic materials also provide "real life" linguistic input as well as authentic cultural information of the target language for L2 (i.e., second language) students to comprehend in the real life. Gilmore (2007) asserts that authentic texts can motivate language learners and stimulate their interests. Considering the benefit of authentic texts, Language other than English (LOTE) teachers need incorporate authentic materials into the target language teaching. T...
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... be taught in the pre0teaching activity because strategies such as guessing meaning from the context is still encouraged in L2 learning.
In summary, I believe that these texts I selected are very attractive, accessible and appropriate, thereby, they can stimulate discussion about the topic and motivate student learning. By decoding what they hear and observe from the speech and non-verbal language and what they read from the text structure, students can learn to match these with what they know of the language and finally comprehend the meaning of the words and phrases within the authentic cultural context. As a result, they can further apply the new knowledge to solve problems in real situations, for example, ordering food in a Chinese restaurant. Meanwhile, students’ communication and comprehension capability can improve with increased exposure to authentic texts.
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