What makes Chinese unique?
In this unit of study, students learn about the features of language and culture that make Chinese unique. They learn how the Chinese writing system evolved using simplified and traditional characters. Students learn how to distinguish radicals, to understand their root meaning and how radicals help students use a Chinese dictionary. Students also explore the role of calligraphy in Chinese art, language and culture. Furthermore, students recognize how Chinese and Americans interpret the concept of humility. In addition, students learn to compare study habits of high school students in the USA and China.
MI: World Languages (2007)
1.1.N.SL.j Share likes and dislikes in the target language with a classmate
1.1.N.SL.k Share opinions and preferences in the target language with their classmates
Interpersonal Reading/Writing (RW)
1.1.N.RW.a Use the target language in email messages, text messages, blogs, webpages, letters, and notes to greet, take leave, or make introductions
1.1.N.RW.b Exchange information by asking and answering basic questions in writing about the weather, health/ physical conditions, self, family, and friends
Interperpreting Written Language-Reading
1.2.N.R.b Understand main idea of simple accessible written materials in the target language such as, textbook passages, age-appropriate magazine and newspaper articles/ads, websites/ internet, poetry or stories
Understanding the importance of cultural and creative heritage within the target cultures
2.2.N.C.a Identify current cultural icons (arts, music, literature, film, and the creators of these products as well as natural sites)
4.1 Comparing Languages
Students demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the language studies and their own.
4.1.N.a Identify basic differences and similarities in vocabulary between one’s own language and the target language (cognates and borrowed words)
4.1.N.b Identify basic differences and similarities in grammatical structures between one’s own language and the target
4.1.N.c Identify basic differences and similarities in register/honorifics between one’s own language and the target language
4.1.N.d Identify basic differences and similarities in phonological features (such as pronunciation, intonation, and tone) between one’s own language and the target language
Exemption for 4.2.N.d only: No Longer Spoken, Signed
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1. How did Chinese writing system evolve into the current system of simplified and traditional characters?
2. How are Chinese radicals used for lexical recognition and dictionary use?
3. What is the role of calligraphy in Chinese art, language and culture?
4. How do American versus Chinese students interpret humility?
5. How do Chinese and American educators compare the concept of student learning and good habits?
Concepts of humility
a. How do American students and Chinese interpret “high maintenance” behavior?
b. Compliments: humility and honest feedback
c. What is Virtue: Humility
d. “Being humble is a great virtue”
e. “Humility brings progress”
f. Nali nail role in conversation
6 forms of creating Chinese characters – liu shu
describe time in sequence: ordinal numbers
formation of Chinese characters
Sample Performance Assessments
1. Send a classmate a note or email reminding him/her of a coming exam (1.1.N.RW.a, 1.1.N.RW.b).
2. Role play a compliment given and a culturally appropriate response (1.1.N.SL.j,1.1.N.SL.k).
3. Describe the elements of a traditional Chinese picture/poem. Include the essence of the figurative
meaning represented by the picture (1.2.N.R.b).
4. Compare Chinese character in traditional and simplified form (4.1).
5. Identify basic Chinese radicals from a list of characters.
6. Create Chinese calligraphy (2.2.N.C.a).
Recommended (not required) Resources
Integrated Chinese, Level 1 Part 1. Second Edition. Boston, MA: Cheng & Tsui Company, 2005.
Lessons 7 - 8, pp. 165 - 189.