There are several principles that guide me in my approach to teaching in my Chinese classroom:
My core teaching principle is that effective teaching should be student-centred, with consideration given to individual needs. As a foreign language teacher, I believe that teaching should take into account students’ needs since motivation and attitude are important factors for students learning a foreign language.
From my eleven years’ teaching experience with adult learners, I realise that each student comes to class with different experiences, learning styles, preferences and areas of interest. In order to provide a high quality teaching service, I always set an initial placement test so that I can fully understand the individual’s Chinese learning objectives and current Chinese proficiency.
Build a collaborative and enjoyable learning environment
In my classroom, I provide communicative and collaborative activities by which students can build their knowledge by their own efforts, instead of simply receiving knowledge from the teacher. With a student-centred approach, my students can build their language skills through interaction with other students.
In my classroom, students are recognised and respected for their strengths and contributions. This positive atmosphere makes the classroom a safe place to make language mistakes and express opinions. I strive to create a comfortable and respectful environment in the classroom and to respond to each question thoughtfully and encouragingly so that students gradually become more confident and ready to speak Chinese.
Provide a high quality teaching service
There is no ‘one size fits all’ recipe for language teaching. I firmly believe that a good teacher needs to constantly reassess their teaching style and content.
I regularly check with my students about their understanding of new topics and ask for their feedback about the activities, their learning pace and progression, and my teaching. The students’ input helps me keep my teaching techniques and activities relevant to their needs in the class. I am always patient during the teaching process, paying special attention to monitoring the students’ interaction and reaction, ready to slow down and repeat things when some students appear confused and uncertain.
I find no other job more fulfilling and rewarding than teaching Chinese language and culture. By having students come to me and tell me that they want to continue to study Chinese with me and that they greatly appreciate my class, I know that I have been successful, which continues to fuel my passion for teaching.