Experience Chinese Immersion Teaching in America: A Day at the Chinese Class in Geneva School

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Alfred University [Time]    2016-12-29 14:36:58 

Editor's Note

“Chinese Immersion Teaching” is a special program of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. Led by Yu Jijun, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute, we came to Geneva School to experience the Chinese immersion class.

Geneva West Street Elementary School

Upon entering into the classroom, I was attracted by all kinds of stickers on the wall: cards of Chinese characters, decoupage, 12 Chinese zodiac signs, Chinese flag, etc. We can immediately feel the atmosphere of Chinese immersion. Wang Chaoying, a teacher at the school told us that each Chinese class has such a “Chinese wall”, which is carefully designed by teachers themselves. Every student has an exclusive seat with their Chinese name on the desk.

Chinese Wall

“Two little hands, clap clap clap, take my seat, take my seat. Eyes, eyes, look at teacher; ears, ears, listen to teacher; mouth, mouth, keep quiet!”Soon, led by the teacher, the children sat on their own seats while singing the song.

Wang teaches kindergarten kids. Although there is only one Chinese class every week, the kids show great interests and actively participate in class interaction. During the game session, the kids can correctly name different body parts in Chinese.

Kindergarten Class

Then, we came to a second grade class, which is taught by Xiang Yi. Compared with the kindergarten kids, they own a higher Chinese level. Some of them have been leaning Chinese for two years. In the class, students are not only able to tell the Chinese words at the moment they see the pictures, but can structure a sentence in Chinese.

A Class in Grade Two

“你是哪国人?Where are you from? From which 国家do you come?”, the melody came from a Chinese class in grade one. The students, together with their teacher Hu Yuchun, were singing and dancing. Chinese songs and dances can motivate the enthusiasm of students to participate in the class and light up the entire classroom.

A Class in Grade One

At 3:20 p.m., Zhu Mengwei was teaching the students in grade one. She told a story about a caterpillar, in which she integrated new language points and vocabularies. The story successfully drew attention from the students and brought a harmonious and orderly atmosphere to the whole class.

Geneva North Street Elementary School

The Geneva North Street Elementary School is only a five-minute drive from the West Street Elementary School. When we arrived, the Chinese class had already begun. Yuan Yuan was introducing the facial makeup in Peking Opera. After reviewing some learned words of color, Yuan elaborated the connotation of different colors in the facial makeup. For example, black stands for integrity, yellow for cruelty and green for braveness and rashness. At last, the students drew their own facial makeup and showed them to their classmates on the stage.

Introducing the facial makeup in Peking Opera

At the end of the "Chinese immersion class” experience, Director Yu exchanged views with the teachers and recognized and put forward some constructive comments on their teaching methods. We have experienced the unique teaching charm of Chinese teachers of the Confucius Institute on that day. It is their hard work and wisdom as well as support from the Confucius Institute and the school that lead to such achievements from the Chinese immersion teaching in Geneva School. Teachers, students and their parents in the district also speak highly of the teaching style.