The MA program in the Teaching of Chinese
The Chinese program at Hunter College established the M.A. in the Teaching of Chinese Program in 2008. It is a well-respected program that focuses on teacher education in Chinese language and culture for the purpose of increasing the number of qualified teachers of Chinese in the U.S.
The program accepts international students who are interested in starting a teaching career in the U.S. The majority of our graduates are home-grown teachers who had lived in the U.S. or had received an American education before they entered the program. Program graduates will earn a Master’s degree as well as a New York State certification in teaching Chinese for grades 7-12. The curriculum consists of courses in education foundation, Chinese linguistics and pedagogy, and methods and practicum, for a total of 38 credits. A full time student taking four courses per semester can complete the program in two years.
MA program participants have abundant opportunities to practice teaching students at K-16 levels through the program’s many projects. In addition to training program participants to become effective classroom teachers, the program also introduces methods and strategies for online instruction. Furthermore, the full-time one semester practicum in a New York City public school helps program participants gain a thorough understanding of the American education system; participants learn how to communicate with parents and colleagues and learn how to use verbal and non-verbal communication strategies for effective classroom management.
The STARTALK Summer Program
The Hunter Chinese Program has been running summer Startalk programs since 2007. The summer program has two components that run in parallel: a program to introduce Chinese language to high school students, and a teacher training program. The close integration of the student and teacher programs allows teacher trainees to participate in every instructional aspect of the language program, including large group classes, one-on-one tutoring sessions, field trips, evaluation of students’ presentations and projects, and online instruction. Teachers also serve as pen pals for students. Integrating the student and teacher programs has been proven to be highly effective. The blended learning model that combines face-to-face and online learning enable students to continue receiving language instruction after the summer program ends.
Chinese Flagship Program
The Flagship approach to language teaching is proficiency-based. Students in the Flagship program build on their language proficiency and receive personalized instruction to address individual learning needs. Language learning does not mean to study only vocabulary and grammar, but to use the language in everyday life and eventually to use the language in a professional capacity. Seeing languages not as a subject to study but a vehicle to access the target culture and society, Flagship classes adopt authentic materials from the beginning of language learning and emphasize the importance of having genuine authentic communication with native speakers. The class is learner-centered, with activities that provide meaningful interactions in all four modalities: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
The Language Flagship’s goal is to educate Americans to become global professionals with superior language proficiency. Flagship graduates have a deep understanding of the target language culture, society, literature, and civilization. Flagship is working to revolutionize the way foreign languages are taught in the U.S. The Chinese Flagship program at Hunter College serves as a teaching lab for in-service and pre-service teachers to explore teaching approaches and methods with the support of the Chinese faculty. Flagship teachers learn how to design a curriculum that helps students to develop both conversational and literacy skills in a balanced fashion; how to integrate the use of technology to make teaching and learning more effective; how to help heritage students develop literacy skills; how to assess students’ learning; how to design and prepare students for content-based courses; and more.