How Chinese Boost the Learning Process to My Students
Since September 2016, I started to teach French and African culture in the Chinese school of Markham. That’s because, the Chinese school – Sister Sophie offers a program for Chinese immigrants to learn French. I was so excited and trust me till now I am.
When you start a new job, you need time to adapt. Same goes for me as well. The ways of communication among new people or colleagues are slightly different. Eventually, all become mates and trust me it’s good for everyone. Meeting new people helps you enrich your knowledge and culture.
The most interesting part was the new language to communicate. Everyone speaks Chinese in the school and so I do. I learned Chinese back when I lived in China in 2010. That was obviously a plus point for me. And even with other teachers and students, I can be friendly so easily within a short time of the conversation. I feel really blessed when someone comes to me and asks for help about any lesson.
Mandarin is a group of related varieties of Chinese spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of Standard Mandarin or Standard Chinese. So it was a great chance for me to brush up my Mandarin too. No limit for learning, so I used the proverb.
Out of My Comfort Zone
Most of the students in the school are beginners, so I have to communicate with them in English and Chinese. Though my mother tongue is French, it was not tough for me to communicate with them through Chinese and English. As I already lived in China back in 2010, I know Chinese well.
It doesn’t need to say that in the beginning, everyone has to face some difficulties to adapt to a new environment. But Chinese was an interest for me, so I took the challenge as my choice.
I started learning more about the Chinese culture; Chinese parents push their children to study more. Being an educator, I never give pressure to any students until and unless it’s a dead end. However, students are always eager to learn new things but they have to go through a comfortable situation to learn. I always researched how to drag their attention. And it was fruitful.
The competition is always high. Students have to pass all the exams well to take the next steps. Seats are not for all, so everyone tries to do their best. Parents also try to push their kids which results in depression. And truly writing, it’s not their fault. They are worried about their kids future and the competition. I never support that.
Most parents send their kids outside China for them to have less pressure.
Chineasy Has Helped Me to Prepare My Classes
Chineasy is an internet startup created with the purpose of teaching how to read Chinese characters created by the Entrepreneur – Shaolan Hsueh. It has been very helpful for all since created.
As I work in a Chinese school and I need to communicate with parents as well. I relearn the Chinese that I have slightly forgotten living in China back in 2010. Then Chineasy has helped me a lot prepare my classes and communications.
After working 4 months in the school, I was able to do basic conversations with parents or guardians, I started communicating with them through WeChat. WeChat is a free, cross-platform and instant messaging application developed by Tencent, China. It was first released in January 2011 and was one of the largest standalone messaging apps by monthly active users. And the most important part is it’s free.
Kids have a better understanding because my beginner French class now are bilingual French and Mandarin. So they take it easy. I started giving bilingual courses.
My new African culture course where I explain African geography and culture is also bilingual. In the beginning, I felt a little shy to communicate in Chinese, but with the help of Chineasy, I feel free to talk in Chinese now.
Kids have to achieve better grades at school. I cannot but thank Sister Sophie for integrating Chinese and French in class because most of them communicate in Chinese at home. After watching “Lion King” some of my students asked me to teach them some Swahili words; like Simba = Lion Hakuna Mataka = No Problem.
Some words in Swahili from “Lion King” are Asante = Thank you, Cheka = Laugh, Harufa = Smell, Hapana = Oh no, Jambo = Hello etc.
My background is Senegalese and my students are curious about my country; the people and culture. They’ve been asking me why there are some French words in Wolof. Wolof is a member of a people living in Senegal and Gambia. It’s also the Niger–Congo language of the Wolof. Ancient Senegal people practice Wolof languages. Since then, now some French words are found in Wolof.
Though I am an educator, I am not always teaching. I am a friend to my students. They are added unto my WeChat, whenever they need any help, they reach out to me. They even invite me in their occasions as well. I feel really great that Chinese really boost the learning process of my students.