More than one year has passed since we began brainstorming about the journal K-12 Chinese Language Teaching. The timing was right, with the booming of Chinese language programs in the United States. As a foreign language, Chinese appears in curricula not only at universities but at pre-K / K-12 schools as well. Therefore, teaching Chinese is no longer a matter of crossing a river by feeling the stones, but an established and growing academic discipline. Research in K-12 Chinese language pedagogy has been correspondingly increasing in terms of establishing pedagogical foundations for Chinese language programs such as traditional programs or Flagship programs at the tertiary level, as well as immersion, StarTalk, Heritage, and AP Chinese programs at pre-K / K-12 levels. Universities that offer Chinese language teacher certification programs have focused on challenging subject matters such as curriculum design, classroom management, teaching methodologies, educational policies, and social and emotional development, particularly challenging to native Chinese student teachers because of cross-cultural differences in educational theories. Regional teacher training workshops frequently bring in new ideas by cross-state scholars, senior K-12 teachers, and university professors. We need a practical space to converge theories and practices for the purpose of exchanging ideas between scholars and practitioners across the country to facilitate Chinese teachers’ professional development.
K-12 Chinese Language Teaching offers a platform that welcomes researchers to present academic ideas and latest research outcomes, provides opportunities for Pre-K and K-12 teachers to share and gain teaching tips, and encourages introductions of regional Chinese language program policies and program performance, and textbook compiling and use. Comprehensive as it is, it can play the role of linking together researchers, professors, Pre-K, and K-12 Chinese teachers in terms of Chinese Pre-K / K-12 Chinese language program development in the United States and other countries and more importantly teachers’ professional development.
For this inaugural issue, I sincerely appreciate the substantial preparation work by the CLTA Steering Committee, the strong support and collaboration of the CLASS, encouragement and facilitation from the journal’s Editorial Board, and the hard work of our Editing / Review Team over the past year. I would like to thank them all for having made great efforts to make this journal a reality. However, it is only the first step in the long march, as the Chinese saying goes, and we expect to see excellent articles contributed to the journal in the years to come.