Here’s are excerpts of the speech touching on upcoming changes in Mother Tongue Languages (MTL) teaching:
“…today, nearly 6 in 10 Primary 1 Chinese students come from households where English is the dominant home language, compared to 1 in 10 in 1982. For Indians it has increased from 3 in 10 to 6 in 10; Malays—0.5 in 10 to 3.5 in 10. For MTL, we cannot expect the same outcomes or teach the same way as we have before, when the speaking environment in homes today, indeed in society, is radically different compared to that 20 years ago, or even a decade ago.”
“…a review to make the teaching of CL more engaging and useful, to keep pace with our changing language environment. Basically, we will need more and differentiated approaches to cater to students with a wider band of language abilities and home backgrounds.”
“…we will have to re-calibrate our expectations and teaching methods to keep CL alive and useful for them. Our aim is to emphasise and teach CL for students as a live language they can use, in the modes which they are likely to use. We will have to update our curriculum, teaching methods and even tests to keep in tandem with changes in our society. We do want to make the learning of CL more engaging and fun, but students will still have to make the effort to learn CL.”
“…we will continue the emphasis in speaking and listening, to make the learning of CL more relevant and useful for students…We will increase further the oracy component but details will be announced in due course, with adequate time for students to prepare well. Third, we will use more info-communications technologies platforms to help students learn and write the language. ICT tools are widely available and indeed what people use through emails or SMS-es to communicate in daily life and work.”
“…As with all subjects, we must align teaching methods, curriculum and testing formats to achieve the right outcomes for CL…we are interested in these other systems as they are more tailored for students with home language environments that approximate a growing segment of our students. Their end points have a different emphasis—less focused on writing components but more targeted to help students use the language and build confidence progressively—a goal we share.”
“…We are likely to evolve our own model, by integrating the most appropriate features we find in good teaching systems around the world.”
“…These changes re-affirm our bilingual policy. We are responding decisively to on-going trends and preparing our students for their future. We will not get stuck in any mental mould or system even when they have become less effective or relevant in changed circumstances. Instead, we must remain open to new ideas, methods and tools that are available to more effectively help all our students with different abilities learn CL. We want to engage all our students, help them become proficient in using the language—to converse and read in everyday contexts.”
“…The upcoming changes will require some re-training, but these changes will be introduced over time, to minimise disruptions. I want to commend our CL teachers who have responded positively in the past to change. They recognised the need to adapt to changing circumstances with the interests of our students at heart.”
This is one of the most important speeches delivered by Minister about Mother Tongue (Chinese) language teaching. Exciting times ahead
From THE Journal:
With technology evolving at the speed of light, and everyone looking to benefit from the latest, greatest hardware and software, keeping up can be challenging for educators, administrators, and school districts themselves. To help, THE Journal spoke with a handful of technology experts and came up with a short list of top tech trends you’ll want to watch in the new year. Here they are:
- eBooks Will Continue to Proliferate
- Netbook Functionality Will Grow
- More Teachers Will Use Interactive Whiteboards
- Personal Devices Will Infiltrate the Classroom
- Technology Will Enable Tailored Curricula
Of the 5 trends, I rate 4 and 5 the most important. eBooks might take shape of touch tablets, but I don’t see them impacting classrooms so rapidly. Netbook functionality will grow together with personal devices infiltrating the classroom, with the latter gaining more attention.
Somehow I felt the least convincing trend is the use of IWBs. Though IWBs are really great tools, I still feel they are too expensive and inflexible. However I do expect more teachers wanting to try it out in classrooms because of the hype around it.
I expect personal devices to take classrooms by storm. Despite years of advancement, mobile technology has yet to fully go into classrooms. The use of iPods and mobile phones has been making waves among educators all over the world.
Last but not least, the most important trend should not be a trend in the first place. Many a times, education technology has been much maligned because of poor integration with curriculum. Technology is not just a tool. It is an enabler of customized curricula.
For those who just joined
The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone.
The 2009 conference theme is “Bridging the Divide.” This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote by classroom teacher and international educator Kim Cofinothe week of November 30, 2009.
The following two weeks, December 7-11 and December 14-17, over fifty presentations will be posted online to our conference blog and our conference Ning for participants to view, download, and discuss. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” are listed on the events page of our conference Ning and Facebook fan page, and live events will continue in 2010 through twice-monthly “K-12 Online Echo” webcasts on EdTechTalk. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during and after the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.
Check out the schedule here!
Created this slideshow in 5 minutes using Animoto. Animoto is just great
Technology has made it a totally different experience for a person to read, learn and work with the Chinese language
From Channel News Asia:
Technology has also made it a totally different experience for a person to read, learn and work with the Chinese language.
Mr Lee (Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong) said: “In China now, everybody uses computer inputs one way or other. The young people are working on keyboards so much that when they have to write the characters, they do not remember how to produce them.”
Communication styles too are changing, with more people using email and SMS.
Prime Minister Lee said: “There are all sorts of strange abbreviations. I was exchanging messages with a young person in Chinese and the person typed ’3488′. So I asked, what on earth is ’3488′ (‘暂时拜拜’)?
“There are all sorts of other abbreviations and synonyms which have become part of the lingo. If you stick to the traditional formal language teaching, you are not going to teach people that, you are not going to use that, and students are going to learn a very formal language. But that is not what they will often encounter in real life.”
Mr Lee said testing methods will also need to change.
“So, in an exam, you can bring an electronic dictionary along and ideally, everybody should have a keyboard and should type and write on the keyboard rather than have the burden of struggling with the mechanics of memorising and writing characters by hand,” he said.
1. Yes. Technology has changed it all. The challenge now is to use technology to teach and learn Chinese language effectively.
2. Email and SMS are two huge communication tools. That brings us to highly debated use of mobile phones/devices for learning in classrooms again. We must not forget the other 2 big communication tools – Instant Messaging (IM) and SNS (Social Networking Sites).
3. Does that mean we can look forward to alternative assessment with the use of computers in Chinese language tests and examinations?