Teachers’ beliefs and practices in textbook selection and use when teaching Chinese as a second language

Tien Ping Hsiang, Steve Graham, Xinghua Liu, Ziyu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Textbooks are the primary materials for teaching in the Greater China Region, including the teaching of Chinese as a second language. This qualitative study examined how two teachers of first to fifth grade students in an international school in Macao selected, used, and adapted textbooks to teach Chinese to non-native Chinese speakers. It also examined the beliefs that drove teachers’ decisions and actions. Multiple forms of evidence were analyzed, including responses to interview questions posed at multiple points, responses to a questionnaire administered at the beginning of the study, school documents, and content analyses of lessons in the selected textbook series and materials teachers made to accompany textbook lessons. The two teachers in this study made a conscious decision to continue using two textbook series selected by others and used the year before. The selection and use of these textbooks were underpinned by a set of interrelated beliefs, including their views on effective instruction (e.g., clearly presented topic, appealing and motivating materials, effective learning activities, focus on Chinese culture); their students’ needs and motivations; their own teaching capabilities and attitudes; their epistemological beliefs about learning and knowledge; and the importance of local, national, and international standards and assessments. The two teachers devoted considerable effort to adapting the textbooks by developing their own materials that added, reduced, deleted, restructured, replaced, and re-ordered textbook learning activities. These adaptations were driven by specific teacher beliefs (e.g., the need for more meaning focused activities). Recommendations for future research and implications for teaching are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReading and Writing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Language teacher education
  • Second language instruction
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Teacher knowledge
  • Textbook adaptation
  • Textbook selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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