Only after returning home was able to think about the program and do some deep reflection. During the program, I couldn’t think about anything other than working on the daily assignments and preparing for the practicum. The 21-day program was certainly not an easy one. The intensive schedule, the work load, and the pressure to teach practicum added together made my days go by quickly and tired me out.
After thinking back on those days, I realized that there were so many memories that will stay in my heart for the rest of my life. The highlight of the program was working with many Chinese teachers. I learned a lot from them, and gained a lot of experience from them as well. Each teacher brought in their specialties and they were not hesitant to share with the rest of the teachers. I think if all teachers everywhere were willing to do things like this, we could do much better in our Chinese program. The most effective aspect of the program was Dr. Tseng’s teaching demonstration. I had learned to use the target language to teach the language many times before from a course at my university, from workshops that I attended, and from other teachers’ sharing, but I never got the whole picture of how to effectively use the target language to teach. Dr. Tseng’s demo opened my eyes. I learned the strategies to maintain classroom immersion. I learned that if I believe the immersion will work, then I will work harder to create the immersion setting. There were many things that impressed me in the program. I saw the students come in on day one without knowing any Chinese words, and on the ninth day of the program, the students could speak a lot in Chinese. It was amazing!
I will certainly recommend other teachers to join the program, but if they have less work to do and more time to concentrate on learning from each other, that would be really good for them.