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A nice piece from a 6th-grade teacher about her classroom

November 4, 2017

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STUDENT-CENTERED, PROJECT-BASED MANDARIN LEARNING

Jamie C.H. Gao

Jamie C.H. Gao

Mandarin Lead Teacher for Middle School and PBL Lead at Yuming Charter School

FROM THE “BEST” CHINESE BOOKS TO STUDENT-CENTERED, PROJECT-BASED MANDARIN LEARNING IN MY CLASSROOM

by Jamie Chiahui Gao

“How can I encourage my children to read more Chinese books? What are the best Chinese books for my children to read?” Both parents and Chinese teachers are eager to find answers to these questions. As a seasoned Mandarin teacher with experience teaching from the East Coast to the West Coast, from teaching preschool to college students, these are questions I continue to encounter daily. My replies vary over the years, owing to my growth and development as a teacher.

I am continually pondering and experimenting with authentic methods to motivate students in my Mandarin classroom. How can I disassociate Mandarin learning from rote memorization and busy work, such as the mindless filling in of worksheets? Most importantly, how can I make Mandarin learning connected with students’ current lives, in real-world settings, to provoke meaningful investigation?

From years of teaching and developing Mandarin curriculum under both World Language and Immersion models, I have found student-centered, project-based language learning to be effective among students with age as young as two and half-year-old. On top of the many benefits of Project-Based Learning (PBL), I have my ultimate goal in mind while in the classroom – to implement language learning.

Please see more here.

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