Presentation - Stanford University

Learn to Talk, Talk to Learn
Conversational Chinese Online
Wuping Lu
Target Audience
College students at Stanford University
enrolled in a two-credit class to learn
basic conversational Mandarin
Class twice a week, each 50 minutes, in
winter quarter
Learners’ Characteristics
Motivated – many are learning Chinese as an
elective fun course
Busy – learners can’t fit more class time in
their intensive course schedules
Diverse – they come from a variety of
backgrounds and majors
Have prior knowledge – all have taken at
least the autumn quarter basic Chinese
course or equivalent
Learning Problems
at Stanford
Grammar rules and verb conjugations occupy
most of class time (50 minute class)
Learning lacks context (real-life situations, for
example, buying food at the market or asking
someone for directions )
Lacks supportive learning resource outside
classroom (e.g., native speakers to practice)
Therefore, at the end of the class, most of
students are still not communicative
Design of Solution
Try to address a local learning problem, but scalable
and generalizable to large similar population.
Focuses on basic conversational Chinese but can be
modified for intermediate and advanced Chinese
Not intend to replace classroom rather complement
classroom learning
Use how people learn in general and communicative
language teaching/learning approach in particular to
inform the design of the learning environment
Use Internet and Web 2.0 as platform
Communicative Language Teaching
Makes use of communication to teach
Emphasizes real-life situations and
communication in context (Galloway, 1993)
CLT also stresses social and situational
contexts of communication.
Multimedia is an ideal way to teach language
using CLT as the theory. It allows for realistic
simulations of communicative situations.
How People Learn
Learner Centered
Knowledge Centered
Assessment Centered
Community Centered
Online Learning Community/Tool
Students will access an
innovative online
called CrossChina.
CrossChina organizes
Chinese language
resources under one
interface such as videos,
glossaries, chat tools,
games and reading.
Graph designed by Angel
Talk to Learn, Learn to Talk
Bilingual Wiki
Scenario – Having meals at restaurant
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Learning Objectives
Learning Activities
Chinese Character Video/Audio
Cultural Related Issues
Grammar Summary
Audio Dictionary
In China
Chat with people who are reading this page
Chatting Room
Technology should be simple
Technology is a tool to support learning.
The students and teachers should not
have to invest in learning new tools or
IT support. It should incorporate every
day tools available on the internet that
student’s may already be using.
Anticipated Design Challenges
How to provide rich simulated language application
Native speakers are not necessarily good language
tutors. Therefore, one challenge is how to ensure the
real learning can happen even if the native speakers
are not pedagogically trained.
The time difference between China and USA,
assuming most native speakers are from China.
How native speakers can benefit from the process