Chinese is an ancient language, one that has a higher degree of difficulty than most Indo-European languages. This makes teaching and learning Chinese in an international school a challenging task. Let’s find out how teachers in this Hangzhou international school deliver Chinese teaching.
In this Hangzhou international school, many pupils are non-native learners from the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe. Learning Chinese is difficult for these non-native learners because of the tones of Chinese language. In addition to its four tones, the “neutral” tone introduces a musical element to learning the language. For non-native learners who are not familiar with a tonal language, this is a significant challenge, and it can be even more difficult to associate the correct tone with a specific character.
For some Chinese characters, we can decipher their meaning from their strokes, but for most characters we cannot. Pupils in this Hangzhou international school, then, are guided to memorise the strokes, pronunciations and meanings at the same time.
Chinese grammar also does not follow the grammar conventions of Indo-European languages but is instead expressed through word order and function words. For example, the part of speech of a Chinese character does not necessarily correspond to its role in a sentence. Chinese language, moreover, is closely intertwined with its culture: knowing every word in a sentence does not guarantee understanding of its meaning without cultural context. All the factors mentioned here challenged this Hangzhou international school’s teachers’ expertise in Chinese teaching and learning.
Regardless of whether Chinese is the pupil’s mother tongue or not, teachers in this Hangzhou international school teach by following the order of characters, phrases, and sentences before moving on to texts, all the while immersing pupils in Chinese culture during class. In addition, teachers instill their values into the teaching process. Teaching staff in this Hangzhou international school respect individual differences, endeavour to cultivate pupils’ independent learning habits and encourage pupils to think by themselves and courageously express their views.
In the classrooms of this Hangzhou international school, teachers start by dividing pupils into two groups: those with Chinese as their mother tongue and those without. The Chinese teachers then make further subdivisions according to the pupils’ length of Chinese-language learning, proficiency, and languages spoken at home, and select the appropriate teaching materials accordingly. Their detail-oriented teaching process focuses on the combination of lecture and practice. In lectures, teaching staff in this Hangzhou international school simplify complex content into interesting stories to make them easier for pupils to understand, while also giving pupils opportunities to actively participate and learn for themselves through games and competitions.
Characters and words are also difficult in the early stages of learning, especially for non-native speakers, which is why their engaging classroom activities are so rewarding. In-class learning is complemented by after-class exercises, the emphasis of which is not cramming, but allowing pupils to create their works and demonstrate their ability.
Learning Chinese is not always easy, but it is possible to achieve by learning at Wellington College International Hangzhou. In this Hangzhou international school, passionate and experienced teachers implement their pedagogy effectively and work together with pupils to develop their interests in learning Chinese, and deepen their understanding of Chinese culture.
Company Name: Wellington College International Hangzhou
Contact Person: Admission Department
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Phone: +86 571 8239 6366