A Critical Review of Three Current Cantonese Textbooks Published for Teaching Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers in Hong Kong


Despite the growing importance of Mandarin, Cantonese has not died out in Mainland China. There are at least over 66 million Cantonese speakers in the world, and Cantonese is classified as a language in need of preservation. The dialect is still the primary language used in Hong Kong, and spoken in the Chinese communities in Asia and overseas countries (Kovacs, 2015; Lee and Leung, 2012; Wong, 2011; Chey, 2015). Recently, there has been a rising demand for Cantonese courses in Hong Kong by students, visitors and immigrants from Mainland China. This group of learners is very different from the non-Chinese learners in their cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Nevertheless, there has been very limited research conducted on teaching Cantonese for Mandarin speakers in the field of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (TCFL). In view of the developmental trend towards a more “conversational,” “situational,” “contextual” and “functional” teaching approach in TCFL (Lee, 2004, pp. 83-84), this paper aims to review critically the teaching materials and teaching approaches presented in three Cantonese textbooks published in the 2010s in terms of the current pedagogical methods. The three Cantonese textbooks studied were edited and published in Hong Kong respectively by Wu in 2011; Zheng, Zhang and Gao in 2014; and Kong in 2014. In addition to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of these current Cantonese textbooks, the paper will also explore how the materials can be used and supplemented to teach elementary Cantonese courses more effectively to Mandarin speakers.

Author Information
Elaine Yin Ling Ng, Southern University of Science and Technology, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2017
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon