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Learning Chinese Online in the Age of COVID-19: The Cases of Two Italian Universities

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Abstract

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Italian universities courses had to be shifted online, with a severe impact on language courses. This shift involved three issues: choosing the technology, understanding its use, and re-thinking teaching materials and methods. Our contribution describes the impact of “emergency remote teaching” on university courses in Italy, with a focus on Chinese language courses at Roma Tre University and the University of Milan. After a review of the existing literature, the article presents relevant figures related to Italian universities courses going online, followed by an explanation of the choices made by Chinese language teachers from the above-mentioned universities. Finally, it focuses on the data collected to verify how learners perceived online teaching and which are the main issues.

Keywords

  • Chinese language teaching
  • Emergency remote teaching
  • Online teaching
  • Speaking and writing practice

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Fig. 4.1
Fig. 4.2
Fig. 4.3

Notes

  1. 1.

    Italian Ministry of Education recognized online universities in 2003 and in the following year, the first Italian public online university was officially founded, the Università Telematica Guglielmo Marconi.

  2. 2.

    https://mooc.chinesecio.com/index.html

  3. 3.

    Data provided by the CGIL report are available at http://www.flcgil.it/files/pdf/20200420/l-universita-nell-emergenza-covid-19-report-forum-docenza-universitaria-del-15-aprile-2020.pdf.

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Acknowledgments

This chapter is the result of the close collaboration between the two authors. Specifically, Chiara Romagnoli takes responsibility for Sections 1, 3, 6, and 7, whereas Valentina Ornaghi takes responsibility for Sections 2, 4, and 5. We wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this chapter and prof. Giorgio De Marchis for his help in providing some of the references discussed in these pages. All remaining errors are our own.

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Romagnoli, C., Ornaghi, V. (2022). Learning Chinese Online in the Age of COVID-19: The Cases of Two Italian Universities. In: Liu, S. (eds) Teaching the Chinese Language Remotely. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87055-3_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-87055-3_4

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