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Emergency Remote Chinese Language Learning at a German University: Student Perceptions

Abstract

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese language teaching in German higher education was mainly based on traditional face-to-face interactions. The shift to fully remote teaching has brought new challenges to the fore. Based on a survey of 39 BA students at a German university, this study investigates their learning experiences during the pandemic, their perception of practicability of online learning, and their preferences for future course adjustments. It reports students’ experiences and perspectives through a thematically structured analysis derived from students’ narrative responses. The findings show that a blend teaching mode was most supported. Preferences in the various teaching modes differed significantly between learner levels: the higher the level of a learner, the greater degree of support from the learner for the blended mode of teaching.

Keywords

  • Emergency remote teaching
  • Online learning
  • Student perception

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Fig. 3.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The analysis is based on an online survey among 42 university language teachers from 19 higher educational institutions in these three countries conducted in November 2020 (Lin, 2021).

  2. 2.

    At German universities, a normal contact hour is 45 minutes.

  3. 3.

    For the BA3 survey the participants could choose to write in their own names at the end if they were willing to be contacted for further questions.

  4. 4.

    These remarks confirm what Beblavý et al. (2019) have criticized: “Germany has come under scrutiny for under-investment in digital infrastructure, low internet connection speeds, and a lack of broadband access throughout its territory” (p. 23). They ultimately conclude that “Germany has a lot of ground to make up in digital learning.” These criticisms are also echoed in Carrel (2018) and Kerres (2020).

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Correspondence to Chin-hui Lin .

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Appendix: Online Survey

Appendix: Online Survey

Personal experiences

  1. 1.

    I feel more comfortable to learn the Chinese language online instead of learning in the classroom.

    (select: strongly agree—agree—disagree—strongly disagree—I don’t know)

  2. 2.

    Please provide the reasons for supporting your opinion (as detailed as better).

    (open-end)

  3. 3.

    According to your personal experience during this term, compared to learning in the classroom, what is/are the advantage(s) when you learn the language online?

    (multiple answers are allowed)

    Options:

    • I don’t need to spend time on commuting.

    • I feel more relaxed outside the classroom.

    • I feel more motivated outside the classroom.

    • I can easily search for information on my computer or mobile phone during the class.

    • I can learn at my own pace.

    • I can study anywhere.

    • I am more motivated when doing my homework.

    • Other:

  4. 4.

    In your view, compared to learning in the classroom, what is/are the disadvantage(s) of learning the language online? (multiple answers are allowed)

    Options:

    • I spend less time on practicing handwriting.

    • I feel less motivated when I don’t sit in the classroom.

    • My computer (sometimes) has problems.

    • My internet speed is (sometimes) insufficient.

    • It is difficult to find a quiet place to take the online courses.

    • There is less direct interaction between teacher/student and student/student.

    • I don’t feel motivated to do my homework.

    • Other:

  5. 5.

    Please explain your choices made above (it would be nice if you could provide some examples of your personal experiences).

    (open-end)

Perception of practicability of online learning

  1. 6.

    In your view, which learning mode would lead to a better outcome for the respective components? (multiple answers are allowed)

    Options: pronunciation /grammar /vocabulary and text /listening /speaking /handwriting /discussing the homework

  2. 7.

    Any comments?

    (open-end)

Preferences with regard to future course adjustments

  1. 8.

    If you could decide on the teaching mode for your current course, what would you prefer?

    (select: online mode only /classroom only /blended mode-partially online, partially classroom)

  2. 9.

    Please provide explanations for supporting your opinion. If you prefer the “blended mode,” please also suggest how this could be implemented.

    (open-end)

  3. 10.

    In general, I am satisfied with the overall organization of the current course.

    (select: strongly agree—agree—disagree—strongly disagree—I don’t know)

  4. 11.

    Please provide your comments and suggestions on the course you have taken this term.

    (open-end)

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Lin, Ch. (2022). Emergency Remote Chinese Language Learning at a German University: Student Perceptions. In: Liu, S. (eds) Teaching the Chinese Language Remotely. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87055-3_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87055-3_3

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