Revealing Attractiveness of Chinese Language in Multiple Ways (Story by Person with Chinese-teaching Experience)

[Source]    People’s Daily Overseas Edition [Time]    2017-09-08 16:20:34 

As a teacher of Chinese language, I am keen on revealing the attractiveness of Chinese language to more people. From 2016 to 2017, I was lucky enough to teach Chinese in the Confucius Classroom at Rayongwittayakom School in Thailand and my students just started their middle school study with poor or even without knowledge of Chinese language, which posed great challenge and uncertainty to me.

I still remember that on my first class and upon seeing my adorable students for the first time, I said Ni Hao (Hello in Chinese) and waved hands to greet them. They smiled and waved back with eyes wide open. Then, clasping my hands together, I blurted out a broken satwatdeeka (Hello in Thai language) with a smile. My students laughed, dissipating the tension in the class. So I wrote the characters and pinyin for Ni Hao on the blackboard in legible block letter, asked them to read it out, and told the children that this is a way Chinese people greet each other. Later on, I gestured a student to stand up, held my hands out and said Ni Hao to him. He also held his hands out by instinct to shake hands with me shyly. I smiled and said Ni Hao to him again, and he finally opened his mouth and said Ni Hao to me. I gave him a thumb-up as encouragement. After several rounds of greetings, they were able to greet each other with Ni Hao naturally.

After school, I once heard a “Ni Hao” suddenly when I was on my way to the canteen. I looked around and saw a student running towards me with excitement. I was really pleased to see their progress!

Thai students boast great hands-on ability and middle school students are fairly active and energetic. Moreover, beginners are lack of confidence when learning Chinese. Therefore, I tried various ways to communicate with them during my teaching, such as exaggerated body language and proper media language. I also used different objects to enhance their understanding of what was taught in class. Furthermore, I designed some games of high involvement, such as fruit squat (each participant represents a kind of fruit and one should stoop once the fruit he represents is called) and the drum-and-pass game, where one is playing a drum as others pass around a flower. In this way, I added some fun to my teaching and let my students to consolidate the knowledge learned.

Teaching Chinese language enriches my life more than ever and I am willing to devote myself to looking forward to a fruitful future.

(The author is a volunteer teacher of Chinese language from Nankai University)

(Story by Zhao Zhixiao, People’s Daily Overseas Edition, Page 9, September 6th, 2017)


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