Office of Education Development and Gateway Education

Exploring the Unexplained: How to Make Sense of Chinese and English

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. Meichun LIU

Abstract

Grammar is what makes human species unique and is the backbone of each language. Languages, like human beings, have different “personalities”, projected in their form-meaning mapping strategies. To learn a language well means to understand its unique coding strategies and the communicative purposes behind them. However, traditional ways of language instructions focus only on what the rule is, but not ‘why’ there is such a rule. To enhance the teaching methodology and the learning outcome of LT5510 “Contrastive Studies of Chinese and English Grammar” this project proposes to turn the roles of instructor and students around by raising questions for students to engage in a DEC adventure to find out answers on their own and share the answers openly with the public.
In order to motivate students to take initiatives in active learning, two assignments will be given for self-exploration: the English Puzzle (EnP), which solicits Q&As for puzzling questions in English; and the Chinese Toughtime (ChT), which requires students to interview Chinese learners about their problems and seek solutions. A website called “Grammar Tutor” will be designed to solicit more Q&As and facilitate inter-student discussions and interactive feedbacks. Results of the two projects will be incorporated as DEC projects to showcase the innovative learning experiences in ‘making sense’ of Chinese and English grammars.