by the CLC, PRINCH is the short form for “Pragmatic
Internship in China” and is an intensive Chinese language (Putonghua) and cultural immersion programme taking place in the Chinese mainland. It
is an accredited CUHK regular programme credit course targeting intermediate
and advanced learners in Chinese as a foreign/ second language.
is inspired by the thoughts outlined in the “Pragmatic Framework and
its Role in Language Learning”（Wu, 2006, 2008） and designed by academic leaders in
the Centre. It is further developed and adapted by the PRINCH team through
actual practices throughout the years. The fundamentals of teaching
and learning are namely:
Learning through application: to facilitate language learners’ immersion in socio-cultural
contexts by means of assimilation and internalization of the Chinese
language through real-life experiences.
Small group enhancement exercises: small group experiential
learning in a ratio of
no more than 1 local teacher to 5 students. Each small group is headed by a local teacher
carefully selected by professionals ready to accommodate the students’
Task-based and oral proficiency oriented: the course has a clear goal
of advancing the speaking proficiency of its students based on the language
task in daily living being structured as the axis of the whole programme.
Students will accordingly take the initiative to speak more and to consider
accuracy and fluency in the speaking process. Although visitations and
sightseeing are included in each theme, the learning outcome is judged
upon the student’s performance on “what is spoken”, “how well it
is spoken”, “appropriateness”, and not simply a recount of “what
has been toured”.
actual practice of PRINCH
has been launched for the 6th year since its foundation in
2006 and has taken place in Mainland Chinese cities namely Beijing,
Guangzhou and Xi’an. Host schools which showed their kind hospitality
include Tsinghua University, South China Normal University and Shaanxi Normal University.
The programme touches on a variety of themes such as folk custom, culture, history, business, education, arts, religion, civilian
founded schools, local residences and modern living etc.
A trio of teaching modes is adopted to include language knowledge (big class),
language activities (small class) and language practices (visits). Each
session puts emphasis on applications and actual practices.
thematic report of each activity, mid-term presentation and term-end
ensure the programme is running smoothly and achieving targeted objectives,
the CLC director heads a pilot team to the targeted
city and gives training to the local teachers at the host school before
the programme starts. In Hong Kong, a comprehensive briefing session
is arranged for the participating students to familiarize themselves
with the programme. All these initiatives help build a consensus and
bridge expectation gaps for teaching and learning between teachers and
success of all previous PRINCH programmes is rooted in the whole-hearted
dedication from all levels of administration and teaching staff in both
the Centre and host schools. I would like to take this opportunity to
express my sincere appreciation to those who have worked hard and contributed
to the PRINCH programme.
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