Academic journal article Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies

A Survey on the Practical Difficulties of Chinese Learners in Benin - Taking the Confucius Institute of Benin as a Case 1

Academic journal article Quarterly Journal of Chinese Studies

A Survey on the Practical Difficulties of Chinese Learners in Benin - Taking the Confucius Institute of Benin as a Case 1

Article excerpt



The level and the motivation of most learning Chinese students in Benin Confucius Institute is getting lower and lower despite the perpetual effort made by the academic authorities and teachers to help them improve. This drop of level and motivation is often noticed through the student ' s class performance and in their everyday language use for other purposes as far as their communicative ability is concerned.

What may be the main reasons for this situation? Is it because they dislike the language? Or is it because the teaching method used in the Institute is not relevant? Or is it possible to argue that the institute is responsible for the situation, so that we can say that this depends on the carelessness of the learners themselves? Are there any basic teachings or learning errors that leads to such a situation?

While asking such series of questions, I think it to be on the way to the search of the actual causes of the student ' s difficult assimilation of the language in Benin Confucius institute. So, my objective in choosing this topic consists especially in drawing the attention of the students themselves and of the academic authorities on the Chinese learning problems that seem not to be easily perceived by everybody. My intention in raising these problems is that their impacts must be taken into account during the analysis of the education system in Benin.

Another important objective of this research work is to try to find out some attempts to solve the mentioned problems and mediate on the possible suggestion as a remedy to the prevailing situation. This suggestion may be focused on what should be the learner's own attitude towards the language. That is his interest or motivation and his acquisition method.

Then I ' 11 mention the responsibility both students and teachers in the language learning process can have. Once all these aspects of the matters are approached and taken into account by the educational authorities, the expected betterment of many students' level can be achieved.

Before dealing with how to reach these objectives, it is necessary to be aware of the different problems which have pushed me to choose to cany out this research work.


The Chinese learning problems in Benin Confucius institute are so substantial that they can be revealed in different dimensions. Before dealing with these problems as such, it is necessary to prevent briefly a witness of the experience that had pushed me to choose this topic.

Indeed, I have attended the Benin Confucius Institute for one semester before getting a scholarship to go to China. For having already spent such a time in that institute before going to China, I immediately realized that the realities are not the same. Since that time, I have started being aware of the Chinese learning difficulties we were confronted at that time in the institute. Some of these difficulties need to be pointed out to show the extent to which they can block a sound acquisition of the target language and arouse the necessity to examine them deeply. In fact, the target language and the instrument it represents, the place it occupies in comparison with other foreign languages, none of these were understood by us. This is quite clear in the sense that the library for example does not contain enough books and is not opened to the students in a single local (reading and cultural activities centre}. The provided books were for the most written in English - Chinese instead of French - Chinese. There was a lack of Chinese native teachers and the administration was obliged to recruit part-time teachers, trained or untrained, no matter their qualifications, to cover partly the teaching difficulties. Our practice of the language was almost limited to the brief dialogue, if there was any classroom.

When I come back from China, I went back to that institute where I had acquired my basic knowledge in Chinese, to see whether the problems we (students) were confronted with at that time, have somehow found solution. …

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