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   What is PRINCH?



Founded 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.


Fundamentals and features

PRINCH 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:


1. 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.


2. 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’ skill levels.


3. 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”.  


The actual practice of PRINCH

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.


Assessment: thematic report of each activity, mid-term presentation and term-end presentation.


To 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 students


The 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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