Acting Chinese : An Intermediate-Advanced Course in Discourse and Behavioral Culture  行为汉语 book cover
1st Edition

Acting Chinese
An Intermediate-Advanced Course in Discourse and Behavioral Culture 行为汉语

ISBN 9781138064621
Published August 31, 2020 by Routledge
310 Pages 55 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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

Unit one

Cultural perspective: group mentality 群体意识

  • Lesson one

Text: 一起吃饭是缘分

Behavior highlighted: love to be part of the fun 爱凑热闹

  • Lesson two

Text: 人多力量大

Behavior highlighted: follow the pack 从众行为

  • Lesson three

Text: 人人都是一个"角色"

Behavior highlighted: relation-based conduct 关系本位

Unit two

Cultural perspective: the concept of li 礼的观念

  • Lesson four

Text: 礼多人不怪

Behavior highlighted: li-based civilities 礼俗客套

  • Lesson five

Text: 中国人到底有没有礼貌?

Behavior highlighted: humble oneself and exalt others 自谦敬人

Unit three

Cultural perspective: harmony orientation 贵和思想

  • Lesson six

Text: 礼之用,和为贵

Behavior highlighted: harmony as priority 以和为贵

  • Lesson seven

Text: 忍字头上一把刀

Behavior highlighted: forbear and forgive 忍字当头

  • Lesson eight

Text: 保持中道

Behavior highlighted: (take) the middle road 中庸之道

Unit four

Cultural perspective: face psychology 面子心理

  • Lesson nine

Text: 面子??打开中国人性格之锁

Behavior highlighted: saving face 保全面子

  • Lesson ten

Text: 伤什么也不能伤面子

Behavior highlighted: face work 面子运作

Unit five

Cultural perspective: rules of renqing 人情法则

  • Lesson eleven

Text: 来而不往非礼也

Behavior highlighted: reciprocation 礼尚往来

  • Lesson twelve

Text: 多个朋友多条路

Behavior highlighted: networking 建立人脉

Unit six

Cultural perspective: differentiated mode of association 差序格局

  • Lesson thirteen

Text: 看不懂的中国人(一)

Behavior highlighted: distinguish people based on relationships 亲疏有别

  • Lesson fourteen

Text: 看不懂的中国人(二)

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


Pinyin-English vocabulary

English-Chinese vocabulary

Speech pattern index by lesson

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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.