Capstone/Dissertation Title

Building a Student-Centered Mandarin Learning Environment: A Challenge for Mandarin Immersion Teachers

Term

Spring 3-24-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan L. Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Josh Berk

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Bentao Cui

Abstract

The research question in this project is: what challenges do Mandarin immersion teachers face in order to build a student-centered Mandarin learning environment? Specifically, it focuses on student-centered curriculum design, student-center teaching instruction and student-centered assessment practices in Mandarin immersion education. The motivating factor for this capstone was the struggles faced by Mandarin immersion teachers who were not familiar with student-centered teaching building a student-centered Mandarin learning environment. The capstone details the challenges which Mandarin immersion teachers are facing in the way of student-centered curriculum design, student-centered teaching instruction and student-centered assessment practices. The key influence for this capstone was Mandarin immersion teachers, especially the beginning Mandarin immersion teachers, and their efforts to build a student-centered Mandarin learning environment. The author uses related research literature to prove the effectiveness of student-centered teaching and learning and details what student-centered teaching is and how to apply it to Mandarin immersion teachers’ student-centered curriculum design, student-centered teaching instruction and student-centered assessment practices. The author researched an American Mandarin immersion program to show what challenges Mandarin immersion teachers face in building a student-centered Mandarin learning environment in the way of curriculum design, teaching instruction and assessment practices.

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