Author: International Chinese Research and Development Center of FLTRP
Publication Date: September, 2011
Publisher: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press
China in Movies is a large-scale multi-media series that combines appreciation of Chinese movies with the teaching of Chinese culture. It is the result of collaborative efforts made by China’s largest movie producer, China Film Co., LTD., and China’s largest foreign languages press, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP).
The richness and diversity of Chinese culture has endowed Chinese movies with special value, and the movie industry in China has seen rapid market growth in recent years. At the same time, the worldwide “Chinese Craze” continues to intensify and Chinese culture in particular has been in the limelight. All this provides us with the opportunity and impetus to undertake this project, which implements the mission: to introduce Chinese culture and movies to the world, and to promote better understanding of China.
In organizing and compiling the “China in Movies” series, the International Chinese Research and Development Center of FLTRP has enlisted the help of professional movie critics from China Film Co., LTD., and experts in teaching Chinese as a foreign language at home and abroad. Extensive experience in foreign languages publishing, international cooperation and the use of new media are all drawn upon from the publisher for this project, in order to help people grasp more fully the essence of Chinese culture as they enjoy Chinese movies.
Eight theme-based modules of “China in Movies” will be launched initially: Chinese History, China Today, Images of China, Chinese Cartoons, Chinese Kung Fu, Chinese Operas, Outstanding Figures of China, Relationships in China, Chinese Music, and each module includes representative movies that revolve around the given theme. In the future, the authors plan to update the series as new movies are released, by introducing new thematic modules, or by expanding existing modules.
To optimize the learning of culture, China in Movies has been designed with the following features:
Bilingual: All movie lines and teaching materials are translated to make the relatively difficulty movie language more manageable and friendlier to a learning environment. This enables learners to focus on comprehension of Chinese culture and comparisons with their own cultures. It also facilitates self-study. Thematic highlights: The selection of “culture points” is highly focused on each module’s theme. The aim is to lead the student from depth to breadth, from the specific to the general towards a more comprehensive understanding of Chinese culture.
Comparing cultures: Flexible teaching methods are used to inspire learners to compare and contrast Chinese culture with their own cultures, given that people are more likely to be open-minded towards a different culture and different ways of thinking when they have points of comparison.
Abundant resources: each thematic module is a learning package containing
a. Four representative movies: complete version, in high quality DVDs
b. One movie appreciation guide: bilingual, colorful print, includes background information, critiques of certain episodes, introduction and discussion of “culture points”, “knowledge link” and interactive exercises. Also suitable for self learners.
c. One multi-media interactive teaching DVD: includes classic episodes with bilingual scripts; may serves as teaching guides, role play guides, etc.
d. One set of theme cards: each module contains a set of 8 cards with exquisite pictures and classic catchphrases; may be used as postcards or bookmarks. For example, the theme cards in the Chinese History module feature classic Chinese relics, paintings and calligraphy, and classic Confucian sayings. They are provided to showcase culture in Chinese history.
China in Movies can be used as multi-media “culture readers” by the general public interested in Chinese culture and movies or as textbooks by teachers of Chinese language and culture at the intermediary level and above, in or outside the classroom. In the classroom, teachers can use it to organize movie appreciation or discussion sessions, or to supplement language study and diversify language input.
As the world’s peoples come closer and closer to each other, movies have proven to be an effective channel for cultural exchange. We hope that “China in Movies” provides a wonderful way to experience Chinese culture and movies, thereby accomplishing its purpose: See movies, Touch China!