Insights of education technology and Chinese language teaching/learning by Cornelius C. Kubler


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’。”

担心老师迷恋电脑教学科技

  最近15年,教学科技越来越发达,这本是可喜现象,顾百里却忧心忡忡。他说:“在美国有部分老师爱上电脑,把原来用在备课的时间,用在电脑上,喜欢发展很多新的软件。这些软件部分有用,部分未必有用。我认为,教师应该以学生为重,备课为先。设计一个像样的软件要花上几百几千个小时,我经常建议老师先搞清楚在中国大陆、台湾、香港、新加坡,有没有同行在研发类似的软件,尽可能避免不必要的重复。

  “近年来有很多年轻老师爱上新的科技,很多卡通人物、漫画等等可爱小东西,这些其实都不是太重要,应该紧记一切以教学为重。有好的教学软件,不妨采用,但是不可以盲目跟风。”

My translation:

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.

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