Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

An Investigation of the Beliefs and Classroom Performances of the Overseas Students in Chinese Learning at DUT

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

An Investigation of the Beliefs and Classroom Performances of the Overseas Students in Chinese Learning at DUT

Article excerpt

Abstract

This research intends to discover the beliefs of the overseas students in Chinese learning at DUT (Dalian University of Technology) and how their beliefs influence their classroom performances. Furthermore, it will figure out the relationship between the overseas Chinese learners' beliefs and their corresponding classroom performances concerning Chinese learning. With reference to research method, qualitative and quantitative methods are used to collect data. Firstly, two kinds of questionnaire are designed to collect the data regarding overseas Chinese learners' beliefs and their classroom performances. What is more, classroom observation is used to record the genuine classroom performances of the overseas students in Chinese classes to supplement data collected from questionnaires. And also, SPSS 17.0 is adopted to calculate the relationship between the learners' beliefs and their classroom performances. Finally, this paper concludes that the overseas Chinese learners' beliefs and their classroom performances have influences on their learning outcomes.

Key words: Chinese learning; Learners' beliefs; Classroom performances; Learning outcomes

INTRODUCTION

With the development of globalization, Chinese learning is paid much more attention to than before. Nowadays, more and more overseas students from different cultural and educational backgrounds come to China in order to learn Chinese and have a better understanding of Chinese culture. However, they may have distinct motivations, goals and outcomes in Chinese learning.

According to Richard and Lockhart (1994), learners' beliefs are their perception of language learning, their expectation of the difficulties of learning a language, their preferred learning strategies and their learning motivation. What is more, Richard and Lockhart classify learners' belief system into eight categories including beliefs about the nature of English, the speakers of English, the four language skills, the teaching, language learning, appropriate classroom behaviour, self and goals. And also, Allright (1988) believes that the classroom performance of learners is like a mirror which helps show their own advantages and disadvantages. Learner's classroom performance covers a wide range such as raising questions, asking for help, controlling the class discussion and so on and it is influenced by many factors (Hayes, 1992).

From the above introduction, we may conclude that the overseas Chinese learners may hold various beliefs concerning Chinese study, those beliefs will also influence their classroom performances in turn and will further influence their language learning outcomes.

However, Chinese teachers sometimes do not pay much attention to different learners' beliefs, their classroom performances. Also, they do not obtain appropriate feedback from Chinese learners in class. Hence, most teachers who work on Chinese teaching for international learners may not teach according to their aptitudes.

Based on the above-mentioned discussion, it would be of great significance if a research is conducted to figure out the overseas Chinese learners' beliefs and their corresponding classroom performances about Chinese learning based on the classification of eight categories of learners' beliefs according to Richards and Lockhart (1994) and four aspects concerning learners' classroom performances according to Hayes (1992). And also, this research will discuss the relationship between the overseas Chinese learners' beliefs and their classroom performances, which will make Chinese teaching and learning take place in accordance with students' real aptitudes.

1. LITERATURE REVIEW

1.1 Researches on Learners' Beliefs

Shawn Loewen and Li Shaofeng (2009) worked on a study to investigate the beliefs of L2 learners regarding the controversial role of grammar instruction and error correction. The results manifest that among learners studying English as a second language and those studying a foreign language, there are varied beliefs about grammar instruction and error correction. …

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