Wei-Li Winnie Huang
I enjoy teaching Chinese as a foreign language since I started teaching in the mainstream classroom in the U.S. The needs of learning Chinese in the U.S. motivated me to pursue a Master’s Degree in education and to obtain a teaching credential to be a qualified teacher. In 2007, I received my M.A. in Education and a California Teaching Credential in Mandarin. Then I began to teach in a bilingual school.
I believe teaching is combined with the characteristics of an artist and a scientist. Besides applying learning theory to teaching, teachers have to be creative and artistic to design interesting and communicative lessons to have students engaged. Teachers who act as facilitators, coaches, and cheerleaders guide learning in a well-built learning climate in the classroom. An effective language teaching should be combined with high quality of teacher-fronted activities and high quantity and quality of students-centered activities.
I have been working on developing the Curriculum and Assessments for K-8 CFL (teaching Chinese as Foreign Language) Program for my school. From 2009 VA STARTALK teacher training program, I learned to use National Standards and K-12 Performance Guideline as the guided principles. I started to adapt LinguaFolio and OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) to be frameworks as designing teaching plans to assess student target language performance. I believe foreign language should be learned in communication-based instructions and assessed with performance-based tasks. Vocabulary and sentences should be in a meaningful, authentic, and communicative context in a spiral way incorporated into three modes of communications: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. Along with the 5Cs standards-based curriculum, students will be able to use the target language with cross-cultural skills and knowledge functionally to access to a world beyond traditional borders.
I want students to not only learn languages with fun but also develop their cognitive skills. I provide a well-opened communicative and cheerful learning environment to help students have positive attitudes to look at things with multicultural views. I trust my students will become successful life-long learners and global citizens.
The 3-week teaching and training, on-site residential program, with practicum at the 2009 Virginia STARTALK helped me see the CFL program in a new prospective. It also diagnosed my conventional teaching habits. I made a complete breakthrough to make my teaching effective and to help promote student output while applying a total communicative teaching approach in the classroom. The program provided a great deal of opportunities for both novice and seasoned teachers to enhance their teaching techniques and know the theories behind the best practices.