Based on existing research on teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language, especially from the point of view of promoting the specificity of the Chinese characters, this paper presents four basic principles for teaching Chinese language as a second language. These principles are 'focus on teaching the characters', 'distinguish oral and written abilities', 'select order and nature of the characters to be taught' and 'integrate the distinction between active an passive characters acquisition'. Built on these four basic principles, an appropriate teaching ought to adapt them according to the student profile and learning context. This articles provides also a feedback from nearly ten years of teaching Chinese as a second language in the light of these four principles. This work may pave the way for comparative studies from experience in other countries as well as an approach to classifiy existing teaching mettods based on their compilance with these principles.