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Chinese native-speaker volunteers’ contributions to the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in Western Sydney schools AFMLTA National.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinese native-speaker volunteers’ contributions to the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in Western Sydney schools AFMLTA National."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chinese native-speaker volunteers’ contributions to the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in Western Sydney schools AFMLTA National Conference 2011 Cheryl Ballantyne School Development Officer NSW Department of Education and Communities Western Sydney Region

3 Focus question What can a Chinese native-speaker volunteer program contribute to the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in schools?

4 Structure of presentation Four-dimensional analytical framework (Singh, 1989): 1. Describe the program 2. Situate it within policy and theory 3. Confront the challenges 4. Reconstruct (future directions)

5 Western Sydney-Ningbo Chinese Volunteer Teacher-researcher Program Aims to promote the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture in WSR schools by generating interest in school communities and embedding that interest through a sustained program of support Ningbo Municipal Education Bureau University of Western Sydney Centre for Educational Research NSW Dept. of Education and Communities Western Sydney Region

6 Program features  Up to 10 graduates from Ningbo, China arrive at the end of June each year  Undertake M.Ed.(Hons)  Volunteer in schools two days per week  Return to China in December the next year

7 Program features  School experience informs and is informed by M.Ed.(Hons) research  Reflection and classroom investigation built into the Program.

8 Program participants - PS PS Chinese teacher on staff % Chinese b/ground students in school % of sch pop in Chinese Program 1 Yes b/ground speaker1%73% 2 No0%60% 3 Yes non b/ground speaker 5%100% 4 Yes b/ground speaker1%15% 5 No1%27% 6 Yes bilingual program1%97% 7 No1%92% 8 No1%69% 9 No1%28% 10 No0%100%

9 Program participants - HS HS Chinese teacher on staff % Chinese b/ground students Participation in Program 1 Yes b/ground speaker13%Year 7 2 Yes b/ground speaker12%Year 7 & 10 3 Yes non b/ground speaker 3%Year 8 4 No0%Year 7 & 8 5 Yes b/ground speaker1%Year 7 & 8 6 Yes b/ground speaker1%Year 7 7 Yes non b/ground speaker 3%Stage 6 8 Yes non b/ground speaker 1%Year 7, 8, 9, 10 & Stage 6

10 Program outcomes  Increased numbers of students learning Chinese  School community interest in Chinese  School leaders planning for Chinese  Volunteers realising their development of intercultural understanding - a foundation for teaching

11 Increase in number of students learning Chinese - primary schools 2010  3,989 primary students learning Chinese  1,397 (35%) taught by Ningbo Volunteers working in classrooms with non Chinese- speaking teachers

12 Chinese language and culture programs in primary schools

13 Primary school students learning Chinese

14 Increase in number of students learning Chinese – high schools 2010  931 secondary students learning Chinese  44 (0.05%) taught by Ningbo Volunteers working in classrooms with non Chinese- speaking teachers 2009  876 secondary students learning Chinese  110 (12.5%) taught by Ningbo Volunteers supporting non Chinese-speaking teachers

15 School community interest in Chinese – primary student surveys Term  702 student responses from eight schools  67% - learning Chinese language important  80% - learning Chinese language interesting  63% - learning about China important  78% - learning about China interesting  65% would like to continue learning Chinese in 2011

16 School community interest in Chinese – parent surveys - primary schools Term  117 parent responses from seven schools  More than 80% - learning Chinese language and culture important and valuable for students

17 School community interest in Chinese – secondary student and parent surveys Term  245 student responses from five schools  178 student responses from one school only  10 parent responses all from one school.

18 School community interest in Chinese – staff survey Term  50 staff responses representing 12 schools 38 from 6 primary schools 12 from 6 high schools  95% - learning Chinese language important  100% - learning Chinese culture important  93% - Chinese Program has a positive influence on schools

19 Staff represented

20 School leaders planning for Chinese - Principal focus group Term  Volunteers’ rapport with students has stimulated interest in Chinese language  Chinese language is accepted as part of the curriculum (no longer exotic – High School Principal)  Planning for Chinese language and culture programs occurring in primary schools and high schools

21 School leaders planning for Chinese- Principal focus group – Term  Chinese language has replaced other LOTE programs - two high schools  Links between Chinese language and culture and other KLAs - three high schools  Chinese classroom allocated - one high school

22 School leaders planning for Chinese- Principal focus group – Term  Collaboration across learning communities to support transition Year 6 to 7.  System support important to the long term effectiveness of the Program

23 Volunteers realising their development of intercultural understanding - a foundation for teaching February 2009: When students said ‘dao’ clearly and correctly, I appreciated their first good try and wanted to encourage them. However I found that I could only say ‘good’ and ‘great’. I found that I could not give students immediate and suitable (English and Aussie like) comments, such as fantastic, brilliant, fabulous when they did what I told them, because it was hard for me to express these words that were too emotional for me … I felt strange and uncomfortable when I spoke like this although I knew it was a normal expression for English speakers … (Li, 2010, p. 200).

24 Volunteers realising their development of intercultural understanding - a foundation for teaching September 2009:  My presentation was in Chinese. Since university I have not given a presentation in Chinese. I was used to doing English presentations and using English expression in the presentation. But this time, in order to show our respects, we decided to give a Chinese presentation.   Then I found a strange thing. I had grown used to using some emotional word in English, such as appreciate, amazing, fantastic, dear, sincere, and so forth. I was used to expressing my thoughts. However, when I had to say similar things in Chinese, I felt really strange and awkward. Why did I feel this way? Then I realized, in Chinese culture, people are not used to expressing feelings like this. We feel uncomfortable saying “I love you”, “I miss you”, or offering praise publicly. Some words that are common in English made me feel weird in Chinese.

25 Volunteers realising their development of intercultural understanding - a foundation for teaching  As I understand, when people are learning a foreign language, it is inevitable for them to learn about and adapt to the related culture. I have learned English for a long time. But before I went to Australia to teach I did not feel this because I did not actually use this language when I was in China, even though I studied at an English-speaking university. However, when I started teach here, I had to use English and learn how to speak or use it in an English way. I gradually got used to these expressions and thought it was common to hear emotional words as I mentioned before.  When I was saying those words and expressing in an English way, I did not treat myself as the same person who speaks Mandarin. As I was talking in English, I set up a different scene for myself, so that I could behave or even think in a more English way. So I could express this in English but I felt strange expressing it in Mandarin (Li, 2010, p ).

26 The words of a Volunteer Teacher-researcher  A teacher stops at a self-reflection journal, but a researcher will do something with that journal. Reflection should be disciplined by research; otherwise, reflections are reflections, and may not be systematised, analysed and given value (Zhang, 2010, p. 185).

27 Contexts of the Program  NALSSP target 2020 (Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009)  Draft shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages (ACARA, 2011)  Intercultural language teaching and learning (Lo Bianco, Liddicoat, & Crozet, 1999; Liddicoat, Papademetre, Scarino & Kohler, 2003, Liddicoat, 2005; Kohler, 2010)

28 Challenges & future directions 1: Retention

29 Challenges & future directions 1: Retention  Expand Volunteer Program beyond current 18 schools  Establish Confucius Centre:  Year 6-7 transition in Chinese  middle years outreach programs  connected classroom delivery of Chinese

30 Challenges & future directions 2: Teacher supply Strategies being considered by WS Region and UWS:  Volunteers supporting Chinese in schools during PhD research  extending Program into second 5- year period – focus on schools without Chinese teachers

31 Challenges & future directions 2: Teacher supply Strategies being considered by WS Region and UWS:  Volunteer Program with a second Chinese Education Bureau  UWS exploring combined MEd (Hons)/Master of Teaching for Volunteers  UWS exploring possibility of graduates of proposed MEd(Hons)/Master of Teaching being offered employment as Chinese teachers in NSW

32 Challenges & future directions 3: Time spent on learning Chinese; goals and pedagogy of school programs

33 Challenges & future directions 3: Time spent on learning Chinese, goals and pedagogy of school programs  School self-evaluation process with reference to:  Program standards in Professional standards for accomplished teaching of languages (AFMLTA, 2005)  Dimensions of instructional leadership (Robinson, 2007)  Program sharing across schools (Moodle)

34 Challenges & future directions 4: Volunteers’ further development of an intercultural orientation to teaching and learning Chinese language and culture and impacts on students’ development of intercultural competence  Proposed and future PhD research

35 Questions?


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