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Language+1: A curriculum design and implementation for Business Chinese

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Languages for Specific Purposes
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)9-21
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Recently, more and more Chinese language learners not only learn the language but also use the language to learn an additional subject (language+1) and therefore a curriculum of Chinese for Specific Purposes is needed. This study explores the theory and practice for such a curriculum starting with Business Chinese (BC). The research methods include a Needs Analyses survey at the beginning of the study, thirty-six hours of class observations during the study, and a National Student Survey (NSS) at the end of the study. To triangulate the quantitative data, a focus-group interview is conducted for a deeper understanding of students’ attitudes towards and insights on the curriculum. The study is carried out at University of Manchester, UK with 72 Chinese-majored degree students. A curriculum design committee consisting of professionals, graduate entrepreneurs, subject lecturers, language tutors and current student representatives is set up for designing, implementing and monitoring the curriculum. The Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach is employed for students to learn the subject knowledge while practising the language. The subject knowledge is introduced via lectures and discussed at seminars; business content is practised by students setting up and running their own companies, virtual or real; and language skills are trained via presenting their companies to potential clients and customers, negotiating with counterparts and by writing business reports etc. The NSS results with 100% satisfaction rate show students’ positive attitudes towards the curriculum, and students welcome the curriculum in that they are learning BC by running their own business and that during the process, they apply the subject knowledge into their own companies and the target language is used throughout the process. By managing their own companies, they go through business procedures, develop related knowledge and skills, share ideas with peers and obtain practical advice from professionals. Students appreciate the engagement and empowerment by running their own companies. This curriculum model can be suggested as a framework for those who are to design and develop curriculum for language for specific purposes.