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Archive for October, 2008

No More “Old School”

Posted by tiffanylu on October 10, 2008

It’s not sufficient for students to simply memorize concepts and regurgitate it on tests, which was often the “old school” method of teaching.  Thinking back, how many of you can say that you truly understood the underlying reasons for many of the concepts?  Given that Chinese is not a conceptual subject, “old school” teaching methods and execution are still applied; but is it something that we want to continue to use?  Chinese school sessions typically run like this: the teacher stands in front of the classroom and lectures, while the students are expected to attentively absorb the information; there’s no room for hands-on activities or student collaboration.  These elements are crucial in a classroom, because even the attention span of adults is limited.  Speaking as someone who attended Chinese school for ten years, it is the teachers that incorporated lessons into games and activities that stick in my mind.  Successful activities require a knowlegde of the students’ psychological and physical developements.  Teachers should implement activities that are developmentally appropriate; meaning, activities that are challenging, but not too difficult or too easy.  It’s also an “old school” mentality to mandate students to sit quietly and attentively at their seats.  How do you define a “good” student?  Is it one who sits quietly, does all his/her work, and get good grades?  Is a student “bad” if he/she talks frequently and rarely does work?  A teacher needs to look beyond these actions to even begin to judge a student.  Maybe the student talks a lot because he/she is curious, or chooses not to do work because he/she lacks intrinsic motivation.  The goal of a teacher should be to spark an interest to learning, not to create zombies.  What do you think?

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2008-09 Speech Contest

Posted by Tommy Lu on October 4, 2008

The speech contest rules have changed a little bit this year based on last year’s feedback. For the whole school contest, in addition to the first three places from each grade all interested students are encouraged to participate.

The junior group’s age has changed to 11 years and below so there will be no lower age limit. By the same token, senior group’s age has changed to 12 years and older.

Track B is not separated from track A this year because we only have two track B classes eligible: 3B and 5B.

The speech contest information is available at the wiki site: http://chineseschoolde.wikispaces.com

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10A connection to Advanced Class

Posted by Tommy Lu on October 4, 2008

From the wiki posting, 10A students should be able to move on to the Advanced Class without problems. Advanced Class has written exercise every week. I assume this writing is using pencil and paper. This could be a gap because I have asked 10A students focused on typing instead of writing. In order to have a smooth transition to the Advanced Class should students choose to do so, I need to start to assign written homeworks.

10A students should have enough vocabulary and necessary culture background for entering the Advanced Class. Currently, 10A is using Book 9 due to the connection issue when we switched text books. We don’t have 9A this year (2008-09) so we will continue to use Book 9 for next year.

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10A connection to 9A

Posted by Tommy Lu on October 4, 2008

There is no 9A syllabus available.

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