My name is Shaz…Shaz Lawrence That’s my email address, if anyone would like to get in touch with me afterwards.
Although I am living in the US now, I am from Australia originally and that’s where I began my teaching career…in the general classroom as well as Chinese teaching. Long before teaching and learning Chinese was popular, Australia in the late 80’s decided to make it mandatory for every student from R-12 learn a second language. Chinese was a priority language.
I studied at Fu Ren University in Taiwan, and then received 2 scholarships to study Chinese in Beijing and Nanjing. I started off teaching Chinese in a primary school of 800 students and taught every one of them once a week. PreSchool and Highschool…mainly boys.
Earlier this year, began a new project – Paper Bag Chinese. Teachers contacted me regarding materials for the adolescent years and highly motivating.
Finally, this is my general teaching website – Gigglepotz.com
Most of us are familiar with teaching topics… As language teachers, we generally start of with my name, age, family etc., Nothing wrong with that, but there is a better way.
A theme acts as an umbrella..it gives topics a CONTEXT The theme groups topics together so learning is meaningful and related to real world situations.
WE are going to learn to say your name, ask how old you are, tell me what you like…etc, There is no context and sometimes when I see teachers teach that way…..I want the kids to say… but why? How is this useful? When will I use this?
Buying a gift…topics might include money, numbers, descriptions, greetings, Let’s go to the circus – transport, location, animals, food, descriptions,
After looking at learning standards, content…comes the context
Common topics.. Don’t have to start with ‘What’s your name?
Common teaching practice…drill kids, repeat, practice with each other..???
Give students a purpose to communicate - personal information
Drill, repeat after me…taught in isolation
Context needs to be developmentally appropriate
Emotions, how we feel about input..can negatively affect learning.. Bored…lack of meaning,……anxiety… All these things function as a filter… and reduce the amount of language students are able to understand/… Actually prevent the processing of the language input.
Affective filter is so important How do we get from here…to…
Now that sounds quite logical..doesn’t it? But often we give students a list of new vocabulary and there is no intrinsic value or meaning attached to the characters. Make connections – to first language Context – introduce new vocab in a context Meaning – do the new words have meaning to the student? If you are given a list of things to remember, it is easier when sorted into groups…like fruits, vegetables, drinks etc.,
Connected..better able to retrieve information over time.
Thematic Approach to Teaching Chinese
The Thematic Approach to teaching Chinese [email_address]
<ul><li>Meaningful learning activities </li></ul><ul><li>Real life contexts - easily related to everyday life </li></ul>Meaningful Learning Theme What is Thematic Teaching?
topics vs themes <ul><li>Themes connect topics </li></ul><ul><li>Themes connect previous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Themes embed real-world activities </li></ul><ul><li>Themes recycle language </li></ul>What is Thematic Teaching?
THEMATIC TEACHING: It’s All About Real life contexts! A Trip to the Zoo My first visit to the Doctor Let’s go to the Olympics Dinner with my friends Happy Birthday! Meeting a new friend Buying a gift At the Beach On the Farm Let’s go to the Circus Authentic Learning Experiences Dinosaurs It’s winter! What is Thematic Teaching?
Common questions 你叫什么名字？ 你几岁 ? 你是哪国人？ 你家有几个人？ 你会说中文吗？ What is Thematic Teaching?
Context 你叫什么名字？ 你几岁 ? 你是哪国人？ 你家有几个人？ 你会说中文吗？ Meet someone new on the plane. Security on arrival in China. A new classmate arrives at your school. Interview of a celebrity / sports person. Answer questions about yourself on Britain’s Got Talent. What is Thematic Teaching?
Brainstorm Where are the Olympics held? How can I get there? What sports are played? What time does it start? How can I buy a ticket ? Who would I go with? Nationalities Countries Sports Likes / Dislikes Ability to play… Transport Directions Passport? Pack a suitcase Numbers Money Locations STOVP Likes / Dislikes Ability to play… Family members Friends How to develop a Theme
Brainstorm 1. What do I need? 3. What will China be like? 4. What is my new home like? 2. Talking to someone on the plane Weather Transport Things I like /dislike Transport – plane ticket? Time (schedule) Passport? Pack a suitcase? Nationality Numbers/Age Likes/dislikes Family members Sport Rooms Furniture Descriptions Location A Trip to China
How to plan a Thematic Unit <ul><li>Brainstorm themes, concepts, topics, big ideas or problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a theme that is: </li></ul><ul><li>* Significant </li></ul><ul><li>* Universal </li></ul><ul><li>* Extendable </li></ul><ul><li>* Applicable </li></ul><ul><li>* Relevant </li></ul><ul><li>* Critical to the content areas being studied </li></ul><ul><li>* Engaging to students </li></ul>How to develop a Theme
Content Standards <ul><li>Identify the content standards and benchmarks which are significantly related to the thematic statement and focus questions </li></ul><ul><li>What do I want my students to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Reading and responding </li></ul><ul><li>Oral Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul>How to develop a Theme
Language Components <ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Statements </li></ul><ul><li>New Vocabulary </li></ul>Communication with a Purpose! How to develop a Theme
Learning Activities <ul><li>Authentic </li></ul><ul><li>Real Life Contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging </li></ul><ul><li>Promote effective outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of Language </li></ul>How to develop a Theme
Culminating Activity <ul><li>Bring all the topics together in one final learning activity </li></ul><ul><li>Real life context - in world </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual activity - in classroom </li></ul>How to develop a Theme
Student Assessment <ul><li>Establish criteria for evaluating your student products and performances. </li></ul><ul><li>What will you accept as evidence that students have achieved the targeted content standards and benchmarks? </li></ul><ul><li>Use the language of the culminating task and the key elements of the content standards and benchmarks to draft concise statements of criteria. </li></ul>How to develop a Theme