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Ochanomizu University fangmeili@gmail.com. Multilingualism, Regional & Minority Languages: Paradigms for ‘Languages of the Wider World’ SOAS, University of London 16-17 April 2009. A Performance Approach to Second/Third Language Teaching and Learning. Meili Fang. This talk.

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Ochanomizu university fangmeili@gmail com

Ochanomizu University


Multilingualism, Regional & Minority Languages: Paradigms for ‘Languages of the Wider World’ SOAS, University of London

16-17 April 2009

A Performance Approach to Second/Third Language Teaching and Learning

Meili Fang

This talk
This talk

  • introduction – types of language teaching and learning

  • comparing teaching of second/third foreign/heritage languages

  • key points of Performance Approach (PA): a methodology adapted from foreign language teaching for second/third foreign and heritage/minority language teaching

  • PA and performance

  • video examples and discussion


  • conventional teaching and learning contrasts:

    • national/mother language

    • foreign languages

  • actually

    • first language (often but not always national language)

    • first foreign language

    • second or third foreign language

    • heritage/minority/immigrant language

      • the community is voluntarily or forcefully dominated or out of their country

Large and small languages
Large and small languages

  • I taught or was part of teaching team for:

    • Japanese (in Taiwan)

    • Mandarin (Japan, UK)

    • Hokkien (Japan, UK)

    • Karaim (Lithuania)

less commonly taught

Courses are very diverse
Courses are very diverse

  • Japanese FL taught as a major (12 hrs)

  • Mandarin 2nd FL (after English) (3 hrs)

    ... as curiosity to high school students (1 hr)

  • Hokkien as 3rd FL (after E, M), students with personal motives (3 hrs)

  • Karaim Heritage language as 3rd or 4th language in intensive summer school

But methodologies aren t
... but methodologies aren’t

  • more useful to identify similarities and differences between

    • learners in classes in institutional and community settings – the trends are opposite

    • teaching settings – structure and resources

  • PA methods were effective for smaller languages ... even more effective!

Learners in language settings

endangered languages community settings

institutional settings



Learners in language settings

  • age

  • ability

  • learning goals

  • motivation

  • mother/heritage language background

Teaching settings
Teaching settings

  • less institutional commitment

  • options rather than compulsory

  • learner motivations tend to be personal and less instrumental

  • learner backgrounds may be very different

  • less design and input to teaching resources

  • less teaching hours

  •  very easy for big mismatch between goals, materials and learners

  • could mainstream FL methodologies be appropriate?

  • yes, but only if effective

Performance approach pa
Performance approach (PA)

  • main issues are course design and classroom dynamics

  • ... and how these serve the learning goals(and wider goals)

Pa key points
PA key points

  • clear teaching goal and process

  • rapid, measurable learning

  • students continually perform what they learned (‘spiral of learning’)

  • effective materials, activities, assessment

  • include language functions e.g. emotion, culture

  • drama creation and performance

  • involve language speakers

  • generate further language learning resources

Spiral of learning
Spiral of learning

Typical teaching -‘bank savings’

Performance Approach-‘spiral’

Planning constraints and goals
Planning: constraints and goals

  • constraints

    • time available – calendar, hours

    • materials

    • teachers

    • infrastructure

  • goals

    • researched, realistic and concrete

    • e.g. to master 450 vocabulary items; reach pre-intermediate level; speech functions; cultural (e.g. songs)

Pa design
PA design

  • course design

    • hours, classes, teachers

    • driven by learners’ motivations, learning styles, learning goals

  • teaching materials design

    • textbook

    • other materials (worksheets, songs, games etc)

Pa design1
PA design

  • activity design

    • listening, Q & A, conversation, find out ...

    • drama (see later)

  • feedback and evaluation design

    • evaluation / assessment - continuous and varied

    • drama (self/group/teacher feedback)

    • create concrete resources that “feed back” to future learners


  • learnable

  • sequence

  • each lesson builds on next

  • controlled vocabulary and structures

  • topics and dialogues relevant and useful

  • predictable learning

  • give mileposts and confidence to learners

Elementary spoken hokkien
Elementary Spoken Hokkien

Chapter topics

  • Introduction

  • 1 Vowels

  • 2 Consonants

  • 3 Tones

  • 4 Tone change

  • 5 What’s your name? Lí kúi sèⁿ?

  • 6 Greetings: Chiãh-pá böe

  • 7 What is it? Che s„ sím-m…h?

Elementary spoken hokkien1
Elementary Spoken Hokkien

Chapter topics

  • 8 What would you like to drink? Lí ài lim sím-m…h?

  • 9 What day is today? Kin-á-jit chhe-kúi ?

  • 10 When is your birthday? Lí ê siⁿ-j…t tang-sî ?

  • 11 What number are you calling? Lí phah kúi hö ?

  • 12 How much is this? Che ài göa-che chîⁿ ?

  • 13 Do you know where the toilet is? Lí kám chai-iáⁿ tó-üi ü piän-só ?

Elementary spoken hokkien2
Elementary Spoken Hokkien

Chapter topics

  • 14 What are you doing? Lí teh chhóng-siàⁿ?

  • 15 Inviting a friend: Iok-pêng-iú

  • 16 How long have you been learning Taiwanese? Lí Tâi-gí õh göa kú a ?

  • 17 Can I try it on? Che ë-sái chhì-chheng bë ?

  • 18 Making a booking: Tëng pâng-keng

  • 19 What’s wrong with you? Lí s„ án-chóaⁿ

  • 20 Introducing friends: Kài-siäu pêng-iú

Lesson 10 l si j t tang s
Lesson 10: Lí ê siⁿ-j…t tang-sî?

Example chapter dialogue

  • 1. Tùi-ōe / Dialogue

    A:Lí ê siⁿ-j…t tang-sî?

    B: Góa ê siⁿ-j…t sì ji-gõeh chhe-peh. Lí ê leh?

    A: Góa ê siⁿ-j…t si chiaⁿ-gõeh chãp-it.

    B: S„ téng-kó-gõeh ¬h.

    A: Hèⁿ.

    B: Lí kám chai-iáⁿ lín läu-su „n cha-b¯-kiáⁿ ê seⁿ-j…t sì tang-sî?

    A: Góan läu-su „n cha-b¯ -kiáⁿ?! Lí m¤g che beh chhóng-siàⁿ?

Pa and theatricality
PA and theatricality

  • classroom is a ‘theatre’ setting that makes interactions more authentic

  • performances are respected as language events, and as records of the language development or revitalization process


  • group based

  • groups create own characters and story

  • connects with culture or daily life, emotions

  • performances matter: what learners do is valued

  • performances are new resources

Drama steps
Drama steps

  • establish parameters

  • set up story topics

  • formulate and present story

  • script writing, presentation, correction

  • record voices

  • prepare for performance

  • performance; video

  • distribute useful resource

2006 hokkien
2006 Hokkien:香蕉明的白日夢..

Students’ drama script

劇本編者: Jonny Moses & Rui Niu 日期: 2006年05月03日 阿明: Ming 楊修女: Sister Yang 阿李: Lee 老王: Old Wong 唱片老闆: Record Producer

  • A: Be king-chio, be king-chio! Tai-oan e king-chio siok koh ho chiah! Kin lai be a!買香蕉, 買香焦! 台灣的香焦好吃而不貴! 快來買呀!Get your bananas, get your bananas! Taiwan bananas are cheap and delicious! Come and get them before they’re gone!

  • B: Thau-ke gau-cha, king-chio chit-kin goa-che chin?老闆早安, 香蕉多少錢一斤? Good morning, how much for half a kilo?

  • A: Iun Siun-lu gau-cha! Sa-chap kho•, ho chiah koh siok o!楊修女, 早! 三十塊,好吃而不貴! Good morning Sister Yang! 30NT, they’re cheap and delicious!

2006 hokkien cont d
2006 Hokkien cont’d

Students’ drama script

  • B: Chit-kin sa-chap kho• oh4?! chiah1-ni kui a! Na goa be khah-che e3, li e-sai sng khah-siok e be?一斤三十塊?! 好貴喔! 我買多點的話, 你可以給我便宜些嗎? 30NT for half a kilo?! So expensive! Can you do them any cheaper if I buy a bit more?

  • A: E-sai, e-sai.可以啊. Ok, sure.

  • B: M-ko, goa ai seng chhi chiah khoan li e king-chio u-ian u ho-chiah bo•….不過, 我要先試一試你的香蕉是否真的好吃… But first I’ve got to see whether your bananas are sweet or not…

  • A: Bo bun-teh, ia bo, li chiah khoan mai..沒問題, 要不然, 你吃看看.. No problem. Here, have a little taste.

An endangered language situation
An endangered language situation

  • Karaim - Turkic language spoken in Trakai, Lithuania

  • summer courses 2005 - 2007

  • goals: to support learners to effectively take part in basic everyday conversation. Designed for a class of different ages incl children, teenagers, and young and old adults. Focus “how to teach a language in a short time”.

  • course: 2-week intensive, 2 classes/day, each class 70 min, total of 20 hours; also informal afternoon activities


  • PA is effective for rapid, predictable, measurable, accountable, usable language learning

  • clear, integrated course design and materials

  • continuous language production, feedback

  • group-based drama

  • resource creation

  • we have to bring the best methodology to teaching and learning LCTL, minority, and endangered languages!

A performance approach to second third language teaching and learning

Thank you


To appear. Meili Fang & David Nathan. Language Documentation and Pedagogy for Endangered Languages: a Mutual Revitalisation.. In P. Austin (ed) Language Documentation and Description. London: SOAS

2006. “Taiwanese language teaching and development in the United Kingdom”. Invited paper at conference Taiwan Studies: British Perspectives, Academia Sinica, Taipei, December 2006. [http://www.dnathan.com/mnd/docs/Taiwanese_UK_MeiliFang.pdf]