International Education Journal



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The culture and language learning of Chinese festivals in a kindergarten classroom

Hui-Chin Yang
Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York


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Culture plays a vital role in second language learning. This paper presents an action research study that investigates the role of culture in a Chinese language program in a kindergarten classroom. Three topics have been explored: (a) culture as the core in the development of a thematic unit on Chinese festivals, (b) a culturally responsive pedagogy as a model of instruction, and (c) the assessment of student learning. Nine kindergarten children participated in this study. The thematic unit was undertaken for eight consecutive weeks. Five major Chinese festivals were integrated into this unit; the teaching and learning processes were examined to explore the application of a culturally responsive pedagogy. Diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments were administered to explore the children's learning. The assessments were based the participants' oral response to one-to-one interviews, their written responses on the Pictorial Attitudes Scale in a whole-group session, cultural artefacts, and drawing and writing products.

Thematic curriculum unit, Chinese culture and language, multicultural education, culturally responsive pedagogy


  Yang, H.C. (2006). The culture and language learning of Chinese festivals in a kindergarten classroom. International Education Journal, 7 (7), 967-991.

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