Hou-Dan Chin

I have some thoughts on the following topics:

• Total Chinese Immersion: before my practicum, I was not sure if the “all Chinese immersion method” was feasible even though Dr. Tseng has clearly set the guideline. After the practicum, I strongly believe that the “all Chinese immersion method” is the most effective way. The logic is: when students do not understand any Chinese, the Chinese teacher should definitely develop meaningful curriculum that is comprehensible to students. Once they know some Chinese, then the teacher should definitely create as many chances for students to use Chinese in like real-life settings as possible.

• AP Chinese Curriculum Framework (5Cs and 6 themes): the five National Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21th Century and the 6 themes they are structured around have broadened my view and allowed me to think with a global perspective. They not only provide me a framework but also a wealth of ideas from which I can better develop lesson plans and activities.

• Research-supported Best Teaching Practices: I have learned the importance of using research-supported best practices in teaching Chinese. Practices such as providing comprehensible input, creating communicative interactions, using authentic materials, and encouraging students to speak in complete sentences are tools for me to approach students whose first language is not Chinese.

Improvement Plan to be a Chinese Language Teacher:

1. Keep abreast of the most recent research findings and theories in the fields of Second Language Learning and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

2. Improve my organization skills so that every lesson is well-planned, the teaching materials are ready to go and every minute of class time is not wasted.

3. Improve my computer skills so that I am proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Toondoo, Voki, Live Mocha, Palm PC, etc...

4. Work on proficiency in the pinyin and simplified Chinese input systems.

5. Build up body strength and posture in order to work long hours on the computer designing the lesson plans and prepare teaching materials.

6. Learn to practice yoga, the ancient meditation method every day so that I can appreciate the wisdom that people around me have shown me, and at the same time maintain my physical and mental balance.

Many thanks to the STARTALK Program’s administrators, Dr. Miao-fen Tseng, Natasha Pierce, Naichi Shih, Alison Melnick, all my fellow teachers, and our passionate students and their parents. Without you, we would not be able to do this. 谢谢Xièxiè!