This study aims to understand the similarities and differences in early Chinese literacy pedagogiesbetween L1 Shenzhen and L2 Singapore preschools. Twelve classes were observed for a total of 180hours, and the 12 Chinese teachers were surveyed and interviewed about the beliefs underpinning theirteaching of literacy. A similar pattern of Chinese literacy pedagogy was shared by L1 and L2 classrooms,with whole class direct instruction/interaction being the dominant mode. A belief-practice gap was found:Although the teachers believed in balanced approaches to teaching Chinese literacy, they predominantlyengaged in traditional, instructional practice. In L2 Singapore classrooms, traditional Chinese literacypedagogies were tempered by more Western ideas. The common difficulties encountered in L1 literacyclassrooms were different from those found in L2 classrooms, and most of the L1 and L2 difficultieswere associated with the language and education policies. The sociocontextual, psycholinguistic andpedagogical accounts and the educational implications of these findings are also discussed.
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