|Posted on October 4, 2013 at 4:25 AM|
I could write a really long essay on this topic.There are so much to say about this that I have to cut this short. My daughter attended Chinese School from 1st to 2nd grade. In the first year, I was sitting in the classroom with her and this was my observation.
The Chinese School classroom was borrowed from the high school. It was roomy with big white boards and other teaching aids. However, there were not a lot of freedom for the teacher and students to make use of the teaching aids. They were concerned that students might move things around or broke something. It didn't cater to children of the elementary school age. This is a problem. But, it is not as big of a problem as what I am about to say.
When the teacher was teaching the kids on how to read and write Chinese characters, the teacher was unable to capture the attention of the students. The students had to sit for 2 hours and pretty soon they become as bored as they can be. These are all smart kids so they decided to make use of the time to finish their Chinese homework while they were sitting there. A lot of them can finish their homework way before the teacher finished the instruction. While working on the homework, they did it while they were being taught. They didn't need to remember or recall what they learned. They didn't have to do homework after they got home. So, for the rest of the week, they didn't need to practice what they learned in Chinese. Unless the parents can make sure the children practice during the week, the students have long forgot what they learned by the next time the class meet. Chinese was not burned in their long term memory like a language should.
Since there are little connections between the lessons in the textbook, the students can keep going to Chinese School and learning something new everyweek without having to remember what they were taught last week. So, the students could not really remember what they learned and the experience was not really rewarding, if not frustrating, for them. A lot of the students are good students in their schools and learning was fun in the regular school. They did not know why they were struggling with Chinese. Most of them concluded it's because Chinese is just too hard to remember. Actually, in my next blog, I can tell you why I disagree with this.
I ran into a lot of Chinese parents who will not "invest" in something their kids are not interested in. But, a lot of them think not going to Chinese School is not an option. So, they keep sending their kids to Chinese school even though they know the kids are not really learning. Chinese school is cheap so, even if the kids were not learning, there was no monetary loss.
Most kids do not know why they had to keep going to Chinese school even though they have long lost the interest. A lot of the Chinese parents insist that the kids go to Chinese school but do not know how to persuade their kids to learn Chinese. Since their kids are not doing well in Chinese, the parents are leery about spending the money on a daily afternoon Chinese program such as the one offered here at DMS. Most parents send their kids to DMS initially because they were just looking for a place to send their kids after school. A lot of them didn't realize how effective our program can be until the 1st summer vacation arrived and the family took a trip to China. When they came back, the parents told me how valuable was our program. They were so surprised how much their kids have learned from our program. I was not surprised because I watched how my own daughter enjoy learning Chinese and amazingly found herself capable of reading some Chinese books.
A quality program can not exist without parents' support. Once in a while a parent of DMS will talk to me wanting to keep this program going. Sometimes I think about how my daughter has grown up and too busy with everthing else in her high school life. What motivated me to keep this program going was the words from those parents who saw the effectiveness of this program. Gavin, a student with DMS for 3 years, had to move out of Davis, before he left, his Dad told us how he hoped to find a similar program at the place he's moving to, and that the closer to his departure date, the more appreciative he was to our program.
Categories: Chinese Language Tutoring