Category Archives: All

Empathy vs sympathy

‘Emaphty’ has been used often over the last few years. This short article may give a understanding of this concept.

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Using Reciprocal Peer Coteaching to developing learner autonomy: an action research project with a beginners’ Chinese class

Weiming Liu & Ann Devitt

Abstract

Peer teaching has been used as a mechanism for promoting learner autonomy within a range of language learning contexts. This paper explores how absolute beginners in a Chinese class can engage in reciprocal peer coteaching from the start of their language learning experience and how this contributes to aspects central to the development of learner autonomy as well as to improving their linguistic competence in Chinese. Reciprocal peer coteaching entails students collaborating in teaching teams to teach their peers, with all students taking a turn acting as peer teacher and peer learner, during a short beginners course in Chinese. The study was conducted as an action research project in three cycles with data derived from students’ reflective language learning journals. The findings suggested that the cooperative and challenging activity of reciprocal peer coteaching served to build individual responsibility and motivation for learning while at the same time developing group solidarity in the classes, both of which served to promote the autonomy of learners within the class group.

Keywords: Motivation, Chinese Language, Learner Autonomy, Reciprocal peer coteaching

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The creation of an active learning context for a Chinese class

Mr Weiming Liu & Dr Ann Devitt

Abstract

Research suggests that coteaching contains two dimensions. The first dimension shows that two or more people teach together to meet students’ needs. This dimension demonstrates a process of transmission of knowledge from coteachers to students and points out coteachers’ joint responsibility for students’ learning. The second dimension indicates that coteachers share valuable ideas with each other and help each other to deliver successful coteaching sessions. This dimension emphasises the importance of coteachers’ collaboration during their preparation for coteaching and their implementation of coteaching. A beginners’ Chinese course was organised at a School of Education in an Irish University. The current qualitative research study focused on the coteaching sessions which accounted for about 20% of the Chinese classroom activities. Students were divided into groups and required to conduct coteaching in turn in the form of revision. Coteachers shared leadership and responsibilities within coteaching groups. Included in the data sources in the current study were students’ weekly reflective journals and final group reports. This study explores the impact of coteaching on the process of students’ language learning, in particular whether coteaching can encourage students to take responsibility for their learning and the learning of others, and if it can help to increase their level of subject knowledge.

Keywords: Coteaching, Chinese Language, Learner Autonomy, the ZPD

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Activating empathy: Language teacher education through a Chinese course

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

Abstract

The qualitative research project reported here provided a description of part of a language teacher education programme. The role of empathy was emphasised as an attribute in 16 trainee-teachers’ professional development through a Chinese language taster course. Chinese was chosen as an exotic language. Peer teaching was implemented in order to maximise trainee-teachers’ engagement in the course. The project was designed to increase trainee-teachers’ awareness of their school pupils’ learning activities and strengthen their attachment to their pupils. Trainee-teachers’ empathetic development involved their motivational reasoning, affective empathy and cognitive empathy. Data sources in the current paper included student weekly reflective journals and final group reports. The authors attempted to attest the activation of empathy as an approach to language teacher education and examine the rationale for choosing Chinese in such a setting. The results from this project also suggested the possibility of creating contexts in which Chinese language teachers may exercise their empathetic dispositions.

Keywords: Empathy, Peer Teaching, Chinese Language, Language Teacher Education

Retreating Figure by Zhu Ziqing (《背影》朱自清)

This vedio clip was welcomed by a group of fourth year students when the analysis on ‘Retrating Figure’ (背影) took place. Their feedback was that they managed to understand the text but certain words and phrases hindered their understanding. Personally, I thought this clip was very good and helpful as well. But when showing students a clip like this, we may need to make sure that they are not completely restricted by the given resources.

行动研究法与汉语教师培训

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

本文所涉及的汉语教学单位为都柏林圣三一大学教育学院,其每年开设的汉语课程周期为五到七周。此汉语课程的任课教师同时也是本课题的研究者之一,他的母语为汉语。行动研究法包括‘行动’和‘研究’两个层次,它通常由几个周期构成。此研究方法一般用来诠释具体的案例。它为研究者提供尝试、反思、调整和再尝试的过程。本文中的三次汉语课程等同于三个研究周期。它们分别设置在2009年,2010年和2011年。学生的反思报告不但可以促进他们理解、反思学习过程,同时也可以为任课教师提供反思和调整教学活动的依据。转化学习理论多数用于成人教育。它是指学习者在一定触发因素的基础之上,通过亲自参与学习过程而达到的一种巨大变化。本文中,学生按要求填写每周的课后反思报告。课程全部结束以后,学生以小组为单位填写一次总结报告。本文中的质性研究数据来自于学生的个人报告和小组报告。本文作者首先回顾当前的一些语言教师培训理念,其中包括转化学习理论。然后作者介绍行动研究法在本文中的使用情况。本文将以数据为依据着重剖析该任课教师兼课题研究者如何通过参与行动研究法来极大地提高自己的教学水平,并调整自己的教学理念。本文作者希望此案例能够为汉语教师的培养培训模式提供一点借鉴作用。

关键词:汉语教师培训  行动研究法  反思  转化学习理论

The role of students in a power sharing context: A study of the development of a Chinese teacher’s identity

Mr. Weiming Liu & Dr. Ann Devitt

Abstract

The study reported here introduced an action research project on the enforcement or reconstruction of different aspects of a Chinese classroom teacher’s identity as a teacher. The project was carried out over a period of three years. Classroom power relations were central to this research project. They were represented by the collaboration between the teacher and students, and between students. As an essential component of the project, students carried out both peer teaching and made on-going reflection on the teacher’s teaching. Data sources included student weekly reflective journals and final group reports. The authors hoped to explore the teacher’s professional development and propose the possibility to optimise other Chinese teachers’ contribution to language classes in collaboration with their students.

Keywords:ClassroomPower Relations, Peer Teaching, Teacher Identity, Action Research

Learning colour (3. Eating)

In Chinese, certain colours can refer to certain groups of people. Eating or being eaten are their relationships.

Nationality

Nationality in Chinese = ‘country’ + the word ‘人, rén’.

Can you find out what 人 means? Can you say two countries in Chinese, according to the map?

Chinese horoscope

To express my horoscope, I could say:  我Wǒ属shǔ…… (+ any of the following animals).