UVA STARTALK is a wonderful program. This summer Dr. Tseng, Ming Laoshi and Shi Laoshi did an amazing job helping me become a better Chinese teacher. I liked the teaching practicums because I made progress teaching and designing more interesting activities. But there are still things I need to improve, including:
- Quickly correcting students’ pronunciation mistakes.
- Using surveys to check comprehension.
- Using real props (such as baskets and picnic blankets).
- Using body language to give instruction.
- First using modeling and then using PPT instruction.
- Setting, setting, setting.
In this program I learned how to be a “conductor” in the classroom. Sometimes I need to guide students in their solo performances, and sometimes I need to let them participate in a group chorus. I intend to use the knowledge I have learned from UVA STARTALK in my own classroom in the following ways:
- Do more student-centered activities, let students choose their own output styles.
- Communication and meaning-based tasks.
- Use authentic settings and materials.
- The teacher will determine the learning goal, and make sure this is assessed through comprehension checks.
This training experience will have life-long value, and will also be a wonderful memory. I am looking forward to participating in more STARTALK workshops in the future.