Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teach and self-study pinyin

In the summer week day school, I am teaching first grade students. In the past, I taught high grades only. The main focus of the first grade is Pinyin. Be honestly, I don’t have sufficient knowledge of Pinyin. I cannot distinguish zh ch sh and z c s, en in and eng ing. Also, in Chinese, there are four tones for every character. My students usually have problems about the tone. I depend on the dictionary to sure my judgment of the tone as well. So, this teaching period turn to be a time of self-study pinyin for me. Nevertheless, unlike children, adults often have better comprehensive capacity. I believe I can catch up in a short period if I really study. The process is hard and time-consumed, but I think it is worthy to do. If I don’t teach Chinese and pinyin, I may never have a strong enough motivation to study pinyin in my whole life.

My students are most in the age range about 5-8. They are so cute. However, it doesn’t produce good effect that I praise and hug them too much. By doing that, they will be quickly spoiled. They are all smart enough to watch the teacher’s eyes and face expression in order to make a decision to obey or disobey. If you cannot control them in the beginning, they will never listen to the teacher anymore, and play and talk throughout in the class. I am deeply and deeply understanding why some teacher who are so strict. They are forced to do that for the students’ sake. Yesterday was my first day of the week school class. There are 15 children. In the past, I had no more than 12 in one class. Yesterday, to control the situation, I had to speak very loudly and even yelling in order to get their attention. I totally dislike that. I wonder I may lose my voice, the worst thing for a teacher. I believe I can find out a better way to teach small kids gradually.

I met my student Zachary the second time yesterday morning. We did the review of materials of our first class. For this class, I prepared a few topics, so we went though them one by one. How to call a taxi, ask directions, introduce oneself, talk about weather. At the last, we talked about food. Zachary knew the term of vegetarian in Chinese. I introduce him the opposite word, meat-eater in Chinese. I don’t know if there is a similar term in English. I asked him that how many vegetarians in his friend circle. He answered that he knew none vegetarian. I was laughing, saying, “I love to eat meat, too.” Sorry Kyoko, I know your husband and you are vegetarians. You may feel disgust to imagine someone gobbling meats.

I told Zachary I am reading Gandhi’s autobiography lately. Gandhi was a strict vegetarian, and in his later life, he ate fruits and nuts only. Zachary said he knew this story. I am attracted by Gandhi's book and wish I have more time to discuss it. Zachary and I will meet again this Thursday.


At 6:57 PM , Blogger Kyoko said...

ha ha, my husband is a vegetarian, but I am actually not. I just cannot eat meat at home because of him, although my body seems to not enjoy to have meat, I sometimes eat meat outside when I have a lunch with my friends. Thanks for thinking of me!

>The process is hard and time-consumed, but I think it is worthy to do. If I don’t teach Chinese and pinyin, I may never have a strong enough motivation to study pinyin in my whole life.

I do feel the same when my customer ask me for custom order. They always bring me a new idea that I have never thought. I do work hard to satisfy my customer and it end up improving my skill.

Good luck on your Chinese class!!


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