Interactive online course: A usage-oriented communicative approach to explicit teaching of Chinese grammar: why, how, when and what?

“Don’t worry. You will get it right next time. Practice makes perfect.” We must have all said something like this to students when correcting their grammatical errors. This is of course a good thing to do, as students find motivation and encouragement in such words. However, should we teachers take comfort in thinking that the sole act of practice in learning a language will magically wipe out all the errors? Maybe not. Too often, when students repeatedly make the same mistakes, we hear ourselves screaming silently – “I have said this a million times! Why are they still getting it wrong?” Also, many students perform grammar exercises correctly, yet they still have trouble using the same grammar in productive language, another source of frustration among teachers. How to remedy these situations and help students to accurately use the grammar in practical applications?

To tackle these questions, the Groningen Confucius Institute invited Dr Zhu Zhu from the University of Aberdeen (UK), whose interactive online course is specifically designed for Chinese language teachers, with the aim of achieving a more effective teaching and learning method of Chinese grammar. The course consists of 10 two-hour sessions and covers key grammatical structures that learners of Chinese are expected to command from ab initio to lower intermediate levels. Related issues, such as teaching vocabulary and developing students’ learning strategies, are also touched upon.

Dr Zhu Zhu holds a PhD in Translation Studies and is a Lecturer in Interpreting and Language Acquisition at the University of Aberdeen (UK), where she coordinates the Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting programme and supervises PhD students in the area of second language acquisition. She has extensive experience in Chinese language teaching and teacher training. Before joining Aberdeen, she led Chinese language programmes at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds. Her main research interests are in Second Language Acquisition and Translation Studies.

Classes will run from 12 March to 28 May 2021 in 10 sessions, once per week on Fridays, at 10:00-12:00 local time in Amsterdam. The syllabus will be announced shortly and a free webinar by Dr Zhu on key issues to be covered during the course will take place on 29 January 2021.

  • Free webinar on 29 January 2021
    Time: 10:00-12:00, Friday 29 January 2021
    Training platform: live stream on Zoom
    (The Zoom meeting ID and passcode will be sent to registrants via email. The recorded training video will be uploaded to this website)
    Registration link: please click REGISTER
    Registration deadline: before 25 January 2021
    Recorded video for webinar: please click here to watch

  • The interactive online course (10 sessions from March to May 2021)
    Training platform: live stream on Zoom
    (The Zoom meeting ID and passcode will be sent to registrants via email. The recorded training video can be played back for 5 days after each session)
    Course certificate: Participants whose attendance rate reaches 80% are eligible for the course certificate issued by our institute.
    Course fee: € 180
    Registration link: please click REGISTER
    (GCI will send the invoice to registrants via email within 10 days after completed registration)
    Registration deadline: before 8 March 2021
    Seats are limited and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course consultation: If you have any questions about this online course, please feel free to contact Ms. Cui Hao by email

Groningen Confucius Institute
Correspondence address:
Oude Boteringestraat 44
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address:
Oude Boteringestraat 42
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

tel. +31 (0)50 - 36 34 688