Acting Chinese is a year-long course that, together with the companion website, integrates language learning with the acquisition of cultural knowledge, and treats culture as an integral part of human behavior and communication.
Using modern day examples of Chinese discourse and behavioral culture, it trains students to perform in culturally appropriate fashion, whilst developing a systematic awareness and knowledge about Chinese philosophy, values and belief systems that will prepare them for further advanced study of Chinese language and culture. Each lesson contains simulated real-life communication scenarios that aim to provide a concrete opportunity to see how native speakers generally communicate or behave in social situations.
An essential guide for intermediate to advanced level second language learners, Acting Chinese provides a unique and modern approach to the acquisition of both cultural knowledge and language proficiency.
Table of Contents
Teacher's guide 教材使用指南
List of abbreviations and symbols
List of characters in communication scenarios
Cultural perspective: group mentality 群体意识
- Lesson one
Behavior highlighted: love to be part of the fun 爱凑热闹
- Lesson two
Behavior highlighted: follow the pack 从众行为
- Lesson three
Behavior highlighted: relation-based conduct 关系本位
Cultural perspective: the concept of li 礼的观念
- Lesson four
Behavior highlighted: li-based civilities 礼俗客套
- Lesson five
Behavior highlighted: humble oneself and exalt others 自谦敬人
Cultural perspective: harmony orientation 贵和思想
- Lesson six
Behavior highlighted: harmony as priority 以和为贵
- Lesson seven
Behavior highlighted: forbear and forgive 忍字当头
- Lesson eight
Behavior highlighted: (take) the middle road 中庸之道
Cultural perspective: face psychology 面子心理
- Lesson nine
Behavior highlighted: saving face 保全面子
- Lesson ten
Behavior highlighted: face work 面子运作
Cultural perspective: rules of renqing 人情法则
- Lesson eleven
Behavior highlighted: reciprocation 礼尚往来
- Lesson twelve
Behavior highlighted: networking 建立人脉
Cultural perspective: differentiated mode of association 差序格局
- Lesson thirteen
Behavior highlighted: distinguish people based on relationships 亲疏有别
- Lesson fourteen
Behavior highlighted: distinction between the upper and lower status 上下有别
Appendixes: reflection worksheet for cultural exploration 文化探索
Traditional Chinese character texts 課文繁體字版
Speech pattern index by lesson
Yanfang Tang is Emeritus Chancellor Professor of Chinese Studies at the College of William and Mary. She has taught courses in Chinese literature, culture, film, cross-cultural communication, and language acquisition of various levels. Her research interests span several interdisciplinary fields including literature, language, philosophy, and communications, with the analysis of the underlying cultural and philosophical interconnections as a unifying theme. She has published widely on poetry and philosophy, culture and text, language and thought, and language and communication, as well as the integration of culture with foreign language education. She founded the Chinese minor and major programs at W&M and served as the Director of the Chinese Studies Program for most of her tenure at W&M. Tang was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013 and promoted to Chancellor Professor of Chinese Studies in 2016.
Kun-Shan Carolyn Lee is a professor of the Practice of Chinese and the Director of the Chinese Program at Duke University. She has also served as the general director of the Duke Study in China program since 2001. Before joining Duke in 1995, Lee was a lecturer in the Chinese Department at Middlebury College, Vermont, from 1993 to 1995, and an instructor for the intensive Summer Chinese School at Middlebury College from 1993 to 1996. She has taught Chinese courses at all levels. Her current research interests are language use and intercultural competence, community-based language learning, articulation of foreign language programming, task- and content-based instruction, and needs analysis on language curriculum design. Lee has given lectures in several teacher training workshops including StarTalk. She was a co-principal investigator of a federal grant from ProjetGo in Asian Pacific Studies Institute at Duke from 2015 to 2018.
Li Xu is a lecturer at Duke Kunshan University, Kunshan, China. Before working at this job, she served as a Chinese lecturer at Princeton University from 2007 to 2011 and as the Language Director at the Alliance for Global Education from 2011 to 2014. Li Xu has also taught at various other prestigious programs such as the Princeton in Beijing Intensive Language Program (2006, 2007, and 2010), the Middlebury College Chinese School (2008), and Critical Language Scholarship Program (2011 and 2012).
Jin Zhang is a visiting assistant teaching professor at the University of Notre Dame. She served as Academic Director of the Chinese Flagship Overseas Center in Beijing, China, from 2016 to 2019. She taught Chinese language classes at all levels at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2000 to 2016. Prior to joining the M.I.T. Chinese Program, she was a lecturer at Princeton University. In addition to teaching in a regular university setting, she has also taught at various intensive summer programs such as Princeton in Beijing (1998–1999) and the Middlebury College Chinese School (2000–2017), where she was the lead teacher for level II and Level IV from 2006 to 2013 and from 2014 to 2017 respectively.
Peng Yu is a lecturer II of Chinese at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where he is also serving as the faculty advisor to the Chinese Language and Culture Club on UNM campus. In 2018 Yu founded the Chinese Language Teachers Association of New Mexico and has been serving as the President since then. Prior to joining UNM, Yu was a lecturer in Chinese Studies at the College of William and Mary from 2011 to 2016, where he also served as the faculty advisor to the Chinese Language House, the website editor of the Chinese Studies Program, and the faculty advisor to the Chinese Language Partner Program. Before beginning his college teaching career, Yu was a full-time instructor of the comprehensive online Chinese courses offered by Virtual Virginia (VVa) affiliated with the Virginia Department of Education. At VVa he taught Chinese language courses to Virginia public school students (grade 7–12) from Level I up to AP Chinese. He also developed the online learning modules for the VVa AP Chinese Language and Culture course and taught the course for three years.
Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.