Learning Mandarin Chinese and Culture

Image of a Chinese dragon themed float.


An Immersion Environment

The purpose of this project is to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by providing opportunities for teachers, students and faculty to study in a foreign country to increase the Mandarin language capacity and Chinese culture knowledge of the participants. The project will implement a research-based integrated culture content and language immersion model. A research study will be integrated in the evaluation plan to determine the participants’ Mandarin language gains, increases in pre- and post-knowledge of Chinese culture and their perceptions of it, as well as professional transformative changes.

Project Collaborators

This project is a collaborative effort between the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Learning and Instruction, the Office of the Associate Dean for International Education and Language Programs, and in coordination with the Gengdan Institute of Beijing, University of Technology, China, which collaborates with Hanban (Chinese Institute of Culture).

Project Overview

The project will provide pre-departure and post-travel follow-up activities at the University at Buffalo. It will provide an overseas integrated curriculum, home-like stays and culture site visits in Beijing, China.

Pre-Departure Guided Activities

Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 at the University at Buffalo

Pre-departure guided activities at UB will be offered by the Department of Learning and Instruction, the International Office, and UB Confucius Institute and will include:

  • Application
  • Mandarin language and Chinese culture preparation courses
  • Chinese lectures, speakers and celebrations
  • Individualized language tutoring
  • Orientation workshops to distribute international travel related information
  • Assistance in planning follow-up activities
  • Preparation for the immersion phase studying abroad
  • Research activities
  • Data collection

Overseas Experiences

July-August 2020 in Beijing, China

The overseas experiences will focus on a six-week intensive integrated language and culture content immersion. It will include:  

  • Mandarin language courses
  • Culture seminars and tutoring
  • Home-like stays with native Chinese tutors/mentors in the Gengdan Institute
  • Integrated culture site visits
  • Research activities

Post-Travel Guided Follow-Up Activities

Fall 2020 in Local LEA's and the University at Buffalo

Post-travel guided follow-up activities will be implemented to collect data and assist students integrate Mandarin language and Chinese culture content knowledge, including:

  • School-based capstone projects
  • Media articles and conference presentations
  • Research activities

The evaluation plan and the study will provide evidence of the effectiveness of the ICBL Immersion Model and the participants’ gains. Its framework will utilize a comprehensive evaluation model used for evaluating nontraditional education programs. Quantitative and qualitative measures will determine program success and transformative outcomes. NVivo, SPSS and ATLAS-ti will be used to collect, organize and analyze content from interviews, focus group discussions, and surveys, organize, analyze, and help interpret the research and evaluation data. The proposal will be submitted to the University at Buffalo Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board for an expedited review to conduct the study. The United States Department of Education reports will be completed as per GPA guidelines.

Second Language Faculty

Lilliam M. Malave Lopez, PhD

Associate Professor; Director, Foreign, Second Language and Bilingual Education programs

Learning and Instruction

556 Baldy Hall, Buffalo NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-2442

Email: malave@buffalo.edu

Janina Brutt-Griffler, PhD

Professor; Associate Dean of International Education and Language Programs; Director, Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education

Educational Leadership and Policy

505 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-4066

Email: bruttg@buffalo.edu

Erin Kearney, PhD

Associate Professor

Learning and Instruction

554 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-4058

Email: ekearney@buffalo.edu

Lynn Yang, PhD

Clinical Associate Professor

Learning and Instruction

586 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: 716-645-3502

Email: lryang@buffalo.edu

Apply to the Program