Related News

Home » Feature » Education

Adopting novel methods to keep students learning

AN important component of the curriculum at Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) is the multi-level Chinese program that has enabled both native Chinese speaking and non-native Chinese speaking students to cultivate an intense interest in Chinese language and culture.

Recently the weekly school assembly has seen a series of fun Chinese activities such as martial arts, paper-cutting, riddle solving, and wonton and dumpling-making contests, sweet porridge and rice ball-tasting, all of which provide the students an opportunity to experience the real flavor of Chinese culture.

Students from G4 Intermediate Chinese made a big splash by presenting what they'd achieved in the Unit of Inquiry "Weather" to their parents, teachers and fellow students. As part of the IB Primary Years Program, this unit focuses on the central idea ?? weather varies in different places and times.

Following a brief introduction by one of the "Fabulous Fours," Arno Wang, the students began their presentation with an arresting video recording their learning journey, which incited constant laughter among the audience.

They first performed a Chinese rhyme "Clapping Hands" as a warm-up activity. Then acting as weathermen, the students presented their own version of a weather forecast completely in Chinese.

To add a personal touch to it, the "broadcasters" used props like weather symbols, microphones, rulers and toys to illustrate sunny, rainy, windy or snowy days. They also had to keep track of weather conditions over an entire week and generated column charts based on their findings, incorporating knowledge and skills acquired in their math class.

The performance then progressed to a role play section where the students were encouraged to put together a Chinese conversation centering around weather over a pretend international phone call and act it out with a partner. After that the audience were led in an outstanding finale - they belted out a pretty Chinese song "Quiet Summer."

As the presentation stirred a thrill among the audience, the presenters showed a sense of accomplishment. The G4 Chinese teacher, also the director and producer behind the scene, Judy Wang, was enormously proud of her students.

"Their performance exceeded my expectations," Judy said. "Our intermediate Chinese program aims to provoke the students' interest in the language so engaging them in a variety of fun learning activities which will largely facilitate their learning."

It took the class two months to produce the documentary which invited the students' input and asked them to make suggestions to refine it, such as listing credits in the end. Fascinated by the film-making technology, some of those inquiring minds are keen to explore the technology and create their own productions some day.

One G4 parent, Mirna Santos, was hugely impressed by the performance and credited her daughter's progress to Wang. "I have noticed my daughter being more and more confident when speaking Chinese in daily communication (outside classroom) and am very pleased with the teacher's novel approach to teaching."

Wang is one of those Chinese teachers at WISS who adopt modern pedagogy to nurture Chinese language learners. Embedded in the IB curriculum, the Chinese Language and Culture Program is dedicated to providing students with an interactive learning environment to enhance their language acquisition and understanding of the culture.

Dozens of field trips have served as a platform where the students are able to reinforce their knowledge by relating their learning to real life and everyday situations.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend