Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Nebraska Educator, Volume 4 (2017), pp 64-80.



© 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Learning Chinese as a foreign language is increasingly prevalent in public school districts in the U.S. As ACTFL (2011) reported, an increasing number of enrollments of Advanced Placement Chinese courses indicate a growing demand for Chinese language courses in U.S. public school districts (ACTFL, 2011; ACTFL, 2017). AP foreign language exams indicate that students from the mainstream culture in the U.S. do not perform as well as racial minority test takers (Brown & Thompson, 2016). Therefore, implementing appropriate teaching strategies in a student-centered foreign language environment is a desperate need. This is a pragmatic instructional design proposal, which emphasizes the importance of using encoding and retrieval strategies on Chinese rhyme reading in AP Chinese courses at the secondary level. The pragmatic proposal is established based on two primary concerns. First, with the calling for student-centered teaching strategies in primary education, it is necessary for instructors to understand how learners learn, and to apply appropriate strategies accordingly to instruct students’ learning. Second, standardized tests are often criteria for evaluating students’ learning; it is practical to conduct student-centered teaching, acknowledging an exam-driven educational environment. If the instructor can apply strategies from a cognitive psychology perspective, teachers can then focus on student-centered learning in an exam-driven educational environment. This proposal overviews an instructional design approach that relies on encoding and retrieval techniques to enhance rhyme reading instruction in a secondary AP Chinese class.