I was once a student learning a foreign language as well, which is English, so I know how frustrating it can be to “decipher” a sentence in a foreign language. Knowing that Chinese is much more difficult to learn than English is, I think a good strategy would be to compensate the struggles with fun activities.
During my semester abroad in Taiwan where I taught local students English, I turned away from the old school memorization techniques and instead taught them through interactive activities such as in class karaoke and games.
As friendly and passionate teacher as I could be, I was strict with my students and I plan to continue teaching with this character because it fosters my students’ improvements.
As a native speaker, I am fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and a lesser known dialect. I have recently returned from my study abroad program in Taiwan and travel in China. My visit not only enhanced my Chinese, but also introduced me to the the rapid transformation my home country is undergoing. It is truly a sight to see how traditional values remain as stronghold of the society amidst predominant development.
Culture and language are essentially two interactive factors that foster one another. By understanding the culture behind a language, the students are provided a new spectrum at learning the language.
With these perspectives that I hold, I hope to help my students succeed in their Chinese acquisition- to decipher the code that leads to appreciation of a foreign culture.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Hunter College - Current Undergrad, Biology, General
AP Chemistry: 4
AP US History: 4
AP Chinese Language and Culture: 5
Reading, script writing, novel writing
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
I would like to know my student's level of Chinese and ask my student what area does he or she hope on improve on. Then, we can plan a study plan together.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
I would encourage the student to try to use his or her Chinese as much as possible when he or she is offered a chance, such as when ordering Chinese food.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Depending on the student's level, I would encourage the student to read a translation of his or her favorite book. Since the student has already read the book, he or she can guess the contents and recognize more words and sentence structure rules. If the book is not translated, I would propose the student to translate it. We can break this down bits by bits and the student might even want to publicly read his or her translation!
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Everyone has his or her hobby. We can think of creative ways to incorporate our learning experience into our hobby.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Suppose we are reading a dense paragraph in Chinese; I would ask the student to explain what he or she thinks it is about. I will then correct any error and ask them to reinterpret the paragraph.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
When we feel diffident in pursuing our goals, we fail to recognize how far we have come to. When the student is feeling diffident, I want him or her to look over at his or her works at the beginning of the lesson and see how much has been achieved. If this doesn't work well enough, I would ask the student to speak Chinese to a friend who doesn't speak Chinese. To be honest, our confidence boosts when we see flaws in others.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Everything builds from the essentials.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
I will try to explain it a few times and, if the student still has difficulty, then I would move on a similar level of topic and come back to it. Eventually, I want the student to see the bigger picture and find each topic within the big picture. It's like completing a puzzle; learning requires patience and creative thinking.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
As for learning any language, the students need to excel in four areas: writing, reading, listening, and speaking. I will have a periodic assessment on each of these four areas and evaluate the student's progress.