Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures Zhuoyi Wang, former Visiting Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures Tiao-Guan Huang, Assistant Professor Celia Liu (The College of New Jersey) and Prof. Yea-Fen Chen (Indiana University), recently published a co-authored article, titled “Exploring Cultural Perspectives of Mortality in Class: A Cross-Institutional Collaboration to Teach Cross-Cultural Communication with Films,” in Chinese as a Second Language: The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association USA (57.2 (2022): 91-118).
The article introduces a cross-cultural communication activity conducted across Hamilton College, The College of New Jersey, and Indiana University to explore the cultural perspectives of mortality. The authors designed and conducted asynchronous and synchronous online activities to guide students in discussing some of the perspectives and the underlying assumptions surrounding death in Chinese and in U.S. cultures.
They used two recent films, The Farewell (2019) and Sen Sen (2017), to create discussion questions for intermural online interactions after initial discussion in their respective class sessions. The discussion activities were created with pedagogical strategies based on the following principles: differentiated instruction, zone of proximal development, scaffolding, and comprehensive input. They boosted students’ language skills and increased their learning motivation and cultural awareness.