Teaching our Chinese Students

These seminars seek to provide academics with a deeper understanding of Chinese names and the culture that influences classroom behaviors and levels of engagement.

These seminars seek to provide academics with a deeper understanding of Chinese names and the culture that influences classroom behaviours and levels of engagement.

The following seminars have been facilitated by our external facilitator Dr Fiona Swee-Lin Price:

Understanding Chinese Names: A two hour workshop on the names of people from China and other Chinese-speaking regions. The session will begin with an overview of the core elements of Chinese languages, namely Chinese characters, how characters are converted into the Roman alphabet, Chinese dialects and intonation. The next section will explore names from Mainland China, focussing primarily on pronunciation, but also looking at structure, address, and how names are typically westernised for use in Australia. The final section will look at names from other Chinese-speaking regions, and will cover Chinese names from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Understanding the Cultures of the Chinese-speaking World: This two hour workshop explains how and why cultures differ, and what typically happens when people leave their culture of origin to study abroad. It introduces the core Chinese cultural values, explores how historical factors have shaped how these are expressed in different Chinese-speaking regions, and provides a demographic snaphsot of the current cohort of students from China. The session concludes with an overview of the key cultural differences between Australia and China and how these typically manifest in an academic setting.

Managing the Chinese-English Language Barrier: Language difficulties underlie many of the challenges faced by Australian educators teaching Chinese students.This two hour workshop introduces participants to Mandarin, the first language of most Chinese students. It explains the major structural differences between English and Mandarin in terms of grammar, structure and style, and how these shape what educators observe in Chinese students' spoken and written English. The session concludes with an overview of the most difficult aspects of English for Chinese students, and a summary of tips for educators on how to manage the language barrier effectively.

The Chinese Education Style: Insights and Tips for Australian Educators: Students who grew up attending Chinese schools are used to a very different style of education from the one which is the norm in Australian universities. This workshop contrasts the Chinese and Australian education styles, and explains how these lead to the challenges commonly reported by Australian educators in (1) class participation, (2) unstructured tasks and critical analysis and (3) plagiarism and other misconduct. Participants will be given general tips on how to handle these challenges and will have the opportunity to exchange and workshop specific strategies with their colleagues.

Facilitator Biography

Dr Fiona Swee-Lin Price is the director and principal trainer of Globalise Consulting, a consultancy that specialises in cultural diversity management. She has a Malaysian Chinese mother and an Anglo-Australian father, speaks Mandarin, and has been working with international student issues in Australian universities for over 20 years. Her publications in the intercultural field include ‘Success with Asian Names’, published in 2007 by Nicholas Brealey, and ‘The HarperCollins International Student Survival Guide’, published in 2015, for which she was the Australian co-author. Fiona’s recent clients include People’s Choice Credit Union, the Adelaide Law School and the Australian Federal Police. She is an award-winning public speaker, and is known for her lively presentation style and her practical approach to cultural diversity.