New Criteria for L2 Chinese Teachersí Pedagogical Competence Development
姬 建 国 ††Jianguo Ji
The training of L2 Chinese teachers for American classrooms needs to transcend the traditional approach that focuses disproportionately on the linguistic description of the language form. To better facilitate learnersí acquisition of Chinese as a foreign language, it becomes all the more necessary to place a new emphasis on nurturing a strong transcultural consciousness about L2 pedagogy, and on developing a transculturally-oriented, on-the-spot need-based, and process-targeted capacity of instruction.
Such a new criterion is derived from the nature of the L2 Chinese education, whose uniqueness is particularly manifested in the academic characteristics of this field of learning, in the expectations for teachersí professional knowledge structure and pedagogical competence to be able to cope with learnersí needs for transculturally-oriented cognitive-linguistic development, and in the crucial importance of transculturally-emphatic pedagogical consciousness for L2 Chinese teacher training. It also sets peculiar demands for theory building and teacher preparation specifics. L2 Chinese teacher training operations will need to undergo corresponding adjustments and modifications in order for the quality of L2 Chinese teacher education to meet the transcultural needs of the learners.
The reciprocity between challenges in instructed L2 Chinese acquisition and the quality of teacher training demands serious attention and adequate coping strategies.† To secure effective instruction, substantial pedagogical competence needs to be developed during the teacher education process -- necessarily before a prospective teacher gets deployed into the classroom; supportive or remedial in-service teacher training arrangement needs to be in place -- especially for new teachers and junior faculty members.† The measure of a successful teacher development process is ultimately the consistency between a teacherís developed insight into the L2 Chinese acquisition process, on the one hand, and his/her effective execution of instructional designs and pedagogical facilitation of the L2 Chinese learning, on the other.