Written by Cao Xi
It’s three months since I arrived in Fredericton on September 3rd. In the short three months, I have experienced and grown a lot.
Park Street Elementary School is my first workplace which has about 450 students. This school has started Chinese classes for two years. The principal loves Chinese culture very much and support Chinese language and culture teaching strongly. He gave me two weeks to be familiar with the school environment. So I visited all classes from kindergarten to Grade 5 in the two weeks, and learned a lot from the local teachers’ classes.
I started teaching Chinese in this school on September 23rd. I made three teaching plan for the different grades. The students in the kindergarten are more active, and have no idea about classroom discipline, so I taught them some new words with the use of stories. I told them stories at the same time show the pictures in the story books through the PowerPoint. This way could attract the children’s attention very well, and let them learn Chinese in a relaxed atmosphere. The students in Grade 1 and Grade 2 have known a little about Chinese Pinyin, so after reviewing the Chinese Pinyin, I taught them the simple greetings and the names of common things. I have also taught them how to sing <Two Tigers> in Chinese. For the students in Grade 3、4、5, I not only taught them the simple conversation, but also some Chinese culture, at the same time I also taught them how to do some art projects.
In the Park Street Elementary School, in addition to teaching Chinese language and culture, I also have my dance club to teach them Chinese national dance on every Tuesday. Now we are preparing for the performance of Chinese New Year. After hearing we would perform in the Play House during the Chinese New Year, all the girls were excited. And I also teach some boys Chinese Kung fu on every Thursday. In fact, I didn’t learn the dance and Kung fu that I taught in my club before, just for the sake of having a perfect performance, I tried my best to learn them by myself, and then taught them. I really thank for the experience which can turn me into a versatile girl.
Nashwaaksis Middle School is my second workplace which own about 700 students. There are 27 classes in all from Grade 6 to Grade 8. Different from Park Street Elementary School, it didn’t start Chinese class before, so it’s a real challenge for me.
It took over one month to make arrangement for the courses through communicating with the principal and the teachers constantly. And at last, 14 classes would learn Chinese, 5 classes in Grade 6, 5 classes in Grade 7 and 4 classes in Grade 8. Cause just 14 classes wanted to start Chinese class and it’s also the first time for them to learn Chinese, so what I should do is not only laying a good foundation of teaching Chinese language and culture in these 14 classes, but also spreading Chinese culture in a wider range of areas.
After communicating with the three social study teachers who want me to teach Chinese language and culture in their classes, I know that they hope I could teach more culture compared with the Chinese language. That means I should mainly teach culture and teach language secondly, so I had to make another teaching plan different from those of the elementary school. I saw the social study text book of Grade 6 in advance, and then understood it tells about culture、geography、climate、environment、economy、history and so on. So I introduced Chinese map、population、climate、famous cities、animals、food、paper-cut and Kung fu in my first class. The students were completely carried away by the splendid Chinese culture and discussed with me actively in the class. After seeing my paper-cuts, many students wanted to learn how to make them in my second class. I think it was a good beginning for me, that let me have more confidence to teach Chinese in this school.
At the same time, I also started my dance club in the middle school. Similarly, teach them Chinese national dance and prepare the performance for the Chinese New Year Gala.
Now, I go to the elementary school every Monday、Tuesday and Thursday, the other two days in the middle school. Though there are many classes everyday, I believe that the more I experience, the faster I grow. What I learn and experience everyday will fuel motivation and I will accomplish everything quicker and better.
通过跟老师的沟通，我了解到，跟语言教学相比，他们更喜欢中国文化教学，因为三个开设汉语课的老师都是教social study课程的，这是一个以文化教学为主的科目。因此在中学的教学我要以文化为主，语言为辅，要重新制定一份不同于小学的教学方案。我提前看了6年级social study老师的教材，了解了他们上课讲的内容是有关于文化、地理、气候、环境、经济和历史等各个方面的。所以我在中学的第一堂课，为他们介绍了中国的地图、人口、气候，著名的城市及名胜古迹、特有的动物、美食、剪纸和武术等等。孩子们完全被色彩斑斓的中国文化吸引了，在课堂上，都积极举手与我讨论。看到了我展示的剪纸后，都很喜欢，集体要求第二节课要做剪纸。老师也很支持，说会帮我备齐所有工具。因为在中学的良好开端，也让我在这里开展汉语教学活动有了很大的信心。