The Effectiveness of an Immersion Program in the Putonghua Learning of Pre-service Chinese Teachers in Hong Kong


International Journal of Chinese Language Education; June 2018; Issue No. 3; p.61 - 83

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

This research examines the effectiveness of an immersion program in the Putonghua learning of pre-service Chinese teachers in Hong Kong by studying their self-evaluation questionnaires, as well as their pre- and post-PSC (Putonghua Shuiping Ceshi ‘Putonghua Proficiency Test’) results. It is shown that more than 70% of pre-service Chinese teachers are able to attain Level 2B or above in their PSC through this program, at least a level higher than the one they previously attained. Each of them is able to get around 6 more marks in his/her PSC. The total number of preservice Chinese teachers attaining the aforementioned level or above increases by 30%. It also leads to a remarkable improvement in the PSC results of pre-service Chinese teachers who previously attained Level 3A or below. The immersion program has the most obvious effect on the students at Level 3A below. Moreover, this research discovers that a PSC oriented Putonghua skills training, along with the application of language skills in real-life contexts through culture exploration activities or a language buddy program, can lead to a significant improvement in the Putonghua proficiency of pre-service Chinese teachers in Hong Kong, as well as professional development and personal growth. An immersion program provides them intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to improve their Putonghua proficiency. Meanwhile, we need to take care of students’ cognition and emotion. The success of such immersion program depends on whether pre-service Chinese teachers are open-minded and willing to concentrate on their Putonghua learning.

the immersion program Putonghua PSC Hong Kong teachers


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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