A systematic review of pedagogical research on teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the United States – from 1960 to 2020

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Zhang, Shenglan
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Walter de Gruyter GmbH
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World Languages and Cultures
Since the 1960s, research on Chinese language teaching and learning has developed gradually, so it is worthwhile to synthesize the research results and examine trends and changes. A literature review shows that research has been done to synthesize research findings regarding Chinese language acquisition, but no review of the research studies have been done examining Chinese language pedagogy. This study investigates the research trends in Chinese language pedagogy in the U.S. by analyzing 122 empirical studies published in 25 peer-reviewed journals. These articles were identified through an exhaustive search using multiple databases and methods. The articles were cross analyzed in terms of research topics, language learning settings, methodological approaches, theoretical perspectives, and types of learners that were studied. The analysis found that the topics studied in pedagogical research have become increasingly diversified, and that many of the studies used SLA theories, cognitive theories, and multimedia theories as support for their research designs. Almost half of the studies used technology as part of their pedagogical method. The data also revealed that more research was done with beginning-level learners than advanced learners, and that most of the studies used qualitative data. Analysis of the data highlights the need for more research using Action Research and Design-Based Research methods and reveals a need for all future research to use theoretical support for the research designs. This article concludes by suggesting aspects of Chinese pedagogy that could benefit from further research.
This article is published as Zhang, Shenglan. "A systematic review of pedagogical research on teaching Chinese as a foreign language in the United States – from 1960 to 2020" Chinese as a Second Language Research, vol. 10, no. 2, 2021, pp. 207-238. https://doi.org/10.1515/caslar-2021-2003.