Written by Sissy Shen (Head of Primary Chinese)
YCIS has offered Chinese learning since the school was established in 1932. Our curriculum is committed to nurturing our students’ interest in learning and using Chinese, as well as, helping students build the basic skills and language proficiency to effectively communicate, express and exchange ideas. Students are also encouraged to use existing knowledge and create new knowledge. To adapt to today’s world of rapid changes, we bring together the best practices from eastern and western education, and have developed a variety of dynamic activities in Chinese learning as well.
Lower CAL Curriculum(CAL1-3) Leader Ms. Carrie Qian: “We believe that having an interest is what counts in learning, especially for beginners. CAL1-3 teachers acknowledge the importance of learning activities. ‘The Language Study Fair’ held each semester combined traditional games with technology games, such as Simon Says, card games, pictographic character matching, iPad games etc. It helped students review what they learnt from each semester, improve their language, increase their confidence and develop their mindset. Students can learn through play and apply the language.”
Lower CFL Curriculum(CFL1-3) Leader Ms. Cathy Yang: “For beginners, Chinese characters and Pinyin are the tools of learning Chinese. Students review Pinyin by using various games aided by iPad technology to enhance the students’ interest in learning. The activity ‘Chinese Character King’ is used to guide students in using Chinese characters more fluently, to accumulate more vocabulary and to create a better foundation for reading and writing for the next step of learning Chinese.”
Higher CAL Curriculum(CAL4-6) Leader Ms. Fion Zhang: “Effective language learning should be closely related to real life. During Environment Week, CAL4-6 took on different projects according to their learning unit. In the CAL4 ‘Design’ unit, students designed some items for the “Million Tree Project”, and wrote a description to show their design. The class selected the best design for the school to put into production and the designers themselves sold the goods and donated the profits to the ‘Million Tree Project’. In the CAL5 ‘Figure Description’ unit, students interviewed various school staff, such as, teachers, Ayis and security guards, to find out how they take care of the environment in their daily jobs. In the CAL6 ‘Advertisements’ unit, students learned that advertisements are created by various methods to attract attention to a particular message. The students then used different apps to create environmental protection advertisements such as, calling for people to love the earth and protect endangered animals.”
Higher CFL Curriculum(CFL4-5) Leader Ms. Rowling Miao: “To have students show initiative in their learning, based on their creativity and imagination, CFL4 held a composition contest, recitals and the Idiom Challenge. Furthermore, CFL4 students created their own skit “I am a little tour guide”. They chose content from the text which interested them to introduce an aspect of their favourite scenery in the skit. The CFL5 students set up a small translation team, and made use of the Chinese-English dictionary to complete a translation task. Working closely with their peers, allowed both their Chinese and English skills to improve. CFL5 students also held the Chant of ‘Three Character Classic’. By understanding and reciting it, we hope our students can realize the long history of Chinese culture. ”
Activities are not limited to games, contests, projects, interviews and inquiry, etc. We integrate learning with real life and authentic situations in order to strengthen and extend the Chinese curriculum. Activity learning has changed the way of teaching and student learning, promoting the active participation of students to explore and study, and to have the courage to practice. Through our curriculum, students acquire language ability, based on understanding and thinking, reflection and exploration, problem solving and innovation, to deal with cultural diversity and global change.
The summer holidays are just around the corner and we would like to wish you a relaxing and healthy holiday. Our Chinese teachers also have recommended some reading books and websites for students to use during the holiday. You may visit our Chinese blogs to explore and find all the resources. We hope you find this helpful and enjoyable.