chapter  4
15 Pages

A case study of Cantonese as a foreign language curriculum design in North America

Establishing the Cantonese Language Program at the University of British Columbia

In recent years Cantonese language programs in different parts of the world have been displaced by Mandarin programs in many schools worldwide. This chapter focuses on the curriculum design of a Cantonese program recently established at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. A critical reflection on the curriculum design over the first 3 years of the program helps review the effectiveness of the pedagogical practices of the program, with the aid of data collected from student course evaluations at the conclusion of the Cantonese courses. The issues of the adoption of meaningful learning materials and teaching practice, along with a lack of Cantonese as a heritage language learning materials and teacher training in this regard are presented. The challenges of Cantonese curriculum design, pedagogical issues, and student placements due to diverse language backgrounds in North America are also discussed. It is hoped that this case study will provide more data and insight on teaching Cantonese as a Foreign Language (CanFL), as well as provide information about resources on curriculum development for the future of CanFL teaching.