Source: Lianhe Zaobao 18 June 2010
My Facebook response in Chinese:
I’m a avid follower of Terry Freedman (@terryfreedman) and I totally hated myself for missing iCTLT2010 and a chance to attend his concurrent session, Introducing Web 2.0 Into Your Classroom. Good news is Terry recently released an ebook The Amazing Web 2.0 Projects Book.
- 87 projects.
- 10 further resources.
- 52 applications.
- 94 contributors.
- The benefits of using Web 2.0 applications.
- The challenges of using Web 2.0 applications.
Best of all, it is free! According to Terry, it has been downloaded 9000 times since released 2 weeks ago!
Visit http://www.ictineducation.org/free-stuff/ now!
Aware (see the change) –> Enable (be changed) –> Empower (lead the change). Inspiring stuff
I should show this video during my ICT briefing to teachers
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
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?
“By word and deed, through the care we give, we touch the lives of our students. We make a difference—leading and inspiring our students to believe in themselves and to be the best they can be.
As individuals and as a community of professionals, we seek continually to deepen our expertise. Respectful of fellow educators, we collaborate to build a strong fraternity, taking pride in our work and profession.
We forge trusting partnerships with families and the community for the growth and well-being of each student.
We Lead, Care, Inspire,
For the Future of the Nation Passes through Our Hands.”
A Vision for the Teaching Service
Looking forward to experimenting the portal the pilot project by the ministry. Though I will not be teaching with this portal, I will assist in the facilitation and administration.
Excerpts From Lianhe Zaobao,
…“有关华语语法、发音的说明，课本都有英文翻译，学生可以自己了解，不需要老师在课堂多费唇舌，浪费时间。上课的时间应该用来进行沟通式教学：包括口语、阅读、写字的练习。华人传统说teach是‘教书’，意思是teach the book。过去是这样，现在不应如此。我们现在以学生为中心，上课是‘教学生’，不再是‘教书’。”
Traditionally, the literal Chinese meaning of ‘teach’ is ‘teach the book’. Now, in a learner centered environment, teachers should ‘teach learners’ instead of ‘teach the book’.
Kubler is worried of educators getting obsessed with education technology. He said in recent years younger teachers love technology, cartoons, comics and other little cute stuff. In fact, these things are not important. We must remind ourselves teaching and learning come before everything. If there are good educational software, give them a try. However we must not blindly follow suit.
I agree with most of Kubler’s view. In fact Mr 高极登 expressed similar concerns in this article. Both articles are very insightful.
However, since we are talking about learner centeredness, educators must rethink about how learning takes place today. We must also rethink on how technology can add value to teaching Chinese language. Most importantly, we must always keep an open mind on ways to engage students in learning Chinese language, without compromising the quality of teaching and language proficiency of students.
From MOE’s Press Releases,
Leveraging on Singapore’s unique bilingual environment for the teaching and learning of the Chinese Language (CL), a centre will be established to focus on the training and development of CL teachers. The National Institute of Education (NIE) will work with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to set up the Singapore Centre for Chinese language (SCCL) [新加坡华文教研中心] by mid 2009.
I can look forward to more professional development opportunities in Chinese language teaching.