Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reflection on final project-providing the authentic learning resources in Modern Language Class

How to provide students the authentic learning opportunity in language class has been always an important issue. I am so excited to produce this above mini movie when I was travelling in Beijing this 16th -24th Oct 2009 to attend a weekend workshop. This movie will be a wonderful learning and teaching resources in teaching of the Unit " Travel". And here I would love to share how I made this movie and how I want to apply this movie in my curriculum content.

The structure of this movie

Software I used to make this movie: window movie maker;

Music chosen: "Beijing Welcome you" from 2008 Olympic theme song

The basic information on travelling: transportation, hotel, shopping, souvenirs, eating outside and local culture; I edit the photos and videos in such order as the basic information when oneself needs in travel.

How I embed this digital movie into my teaching

This movie can be either used to assess students for their academic grades or to encourage students to work for their credit points. There are three ways for students to use the movie:

1) To get the Chinese words as much as possible in the movie to edit them into a mini-travle dictionary. Then select the best travel dictionary among the class;

2) To produce a relevant movie based on this;

3) To compose a travelling story based on the background, the information in this movie;

Students can be a writer, a director or an editor to produce the above respective performance tasks, and display their work to the public.

Not only the movie can serve the above purposes, but also students have the opportunity to test themselves if they can apply what they learnt from textbook to the real life situation, for example, reading the menu book of the restaurant, telling the services offered in business centre in the hotel, recognizing the public signs in airport, central commercial district...and touching the pulse of modern Beijing in 21st century.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How could screencast be used in my classroom?

This screencasting is used for listening practice.

Students can exercise their listening skill by playing this video as many times as they want. The listening quiz is to ask students to choose the right answer while the dialogue is being played. This is particularly helpful to those students who can not follow the dialogue during class time.

Study of the new Mandarin vocabulary.

Teacher demonstrates the word pronunciation with its right tone and makes the revelant sentence in that said vocabulary. This will be very practical for students to review the currently learnt words, especially before the quiz, students can use this screencast to do self word dictation while listening to its tone, the pronunciation and its meaning explained in Mandarin.

Feedback on student performance.

Screencast can be used to provide richer feedback on students performance. The above one is to teach reading comprehension skill by reading the paragraph clearly and pointing out the most tricky questions on it. Teacher demonstrate how to interpret the question by catching the key words of that question and type the correct answer.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How has the explosion of web based video changed the teaching and learning landscape?

1). Teaching of Chinese character has become such a fun activity.

The above video. visulises. how Chinese characters have been evolved into. the modern version; Teacher can pause the video and asks the students to guess which C.hinese. character that the particular picture shown in the video would be developed into, or make a guess on what the individual character means according to. the original picture ...

This video is a cartoon of Chinese character. It tells a fairy tale story that the magic dragon ate the extra Suns in the sky to save our planet-Earth. That is why dragon is the totem of Chinese nation. All the scenery in this cartoon is. made of Chinese characters, such as mountain, river, fire, birds, horse, the Sun ...

Students can recognize those. chinese. characters from this cartoon. It is the wonderful way to memorize and understand this language.

2) Demonstration of the process of Chinese cooking.

It makes demonstration on Chinese cooking so easy. Students can just watch the countless videos online to. comprehend Chinese cooking step by step. Teacher can give. students assessment on this video to interpret the cooking in Chinese as much as they can ...

3) To appreciate song words / C.hinese. poem via music videos.

Students can listen to the song music while reading the Chinese words as subtitle. Teacher can asks students to make analysis of this song together with the music ...

The explosion of web based videos have made teaching of Chinese more. easily understood, the learning process more engaging and interesting for students; Meanwhile making the proper use of web based videos enable students to make connections in between different subjects, for example, the relation of music and words, the food and its culture.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Empathetic, naked and message cleared

I do not use PowerPoint often in my classroom teaching. However, Powerpoint is great when used to create a *short* multimedia presentation that goes alongside the lectures. I find it very helpful in teaching of those vocabulary that are hardly explained in words. For example, in the Chapter of traditional Chinese festivals and its food, there are different Chinese dumplings for the particular festival; Each kind of dumpling has its unique name in Mandarin, but they are all same in English-'dumpling'. In order to show students the differences among them, I created a PowerPoint for it.

The concept of " Presentation Zen" is being introduced into our third course. I love it !

Empathy is one of the six aptitudes in good presentation.

" -the ability to put presenter in the position of the user, the customer, or the audience member...,
-incapable of understanding how anyone could possibly be confused by her explanation of the data is lack of empathy...
-The empathetic presenter can make adjustments based on his reading of this particular audience. " From Design to meaning

-"Be present in the moment. Right here right now. Do not be occupied with thoughts of the future, of thoughts concerning what the results of your presentation might lead to. Do not ask about origins and ends leaving the moment forgotten. When you are with your audience, all that matters is that moment."
-Keep it simple. All of it. Simple goals, clear messages, and moderation in length.
Naked Presentation

These words are great enlightenment in my teaching. I start to reflect on the PPTs I made before.

BEFORE. Above (left) is the original slide. The problem with the slide on the left is that there are 4 images squeezed into one slide with the words, phrases and sentences on top; I was too greedy in delivering too much information at once, I was occupied with the thoughts of the future rather than be present in the moment; The text is difficult to read. And students can hardly match each of the food images with the corresponding Chinese phrase. Obviously I am not an empathetic teacher.
The slide on the right (above) was an effort to display the same information in separated slides with much less words attached. For the sack of clarity, the visual displays only one dumpling per slide. Also, the Chinese phrases are made short and clear. " Keep it simple. All of it. Simple goals, clear messages, ...."