When I first heard about teaching Chinese using the “Total Immersion” method at the beginning of the program, I thought it would be impossible. I have tried using this method in my classroom before but it was unsuccessful. However, as the class progressed, things began to gradually make more sense. The practicum was really where the puzzle pieces – student-centered activities, meaningful communication, interpersonal modes etc. were put together.
Although we participants spent a lot of our time preparing for our first rehearsal of the program, we were told that our instructional flow was not meaningful. Hearing this, we were very discouraged. But as we entered into discussion with Dr. Tseng, the program director, and other teachers, we began to understand where the problems lie. With this enlightenment, subsequent preparation became easier and the result was the production of effective and interesting lessons where output of the students was exceptionally high.
I also had the great opportunity to network with other teachers. Each teacher had unique talents and skills which they shared with everyone generously. Not only did I get to learn from them, I also became friends with them. This way, we can share our successes in the future.
The highlight of the program was the skit the students and teachers put together. It showcased what both students and teachers had learned from the program.
I would recommend this program to any Chinese language teacher. Thank you, Dr. Tseng! Thank you, STARTALK!