CLE Chinese Courses: Bridging International Students and SUSTech

2020-7-1

Chinese Language And Culture Teaching Team
The Chinese Language and Culture (CLC) teaching team supports our international students with rich Chinese language and culture courses. The novel coronavirus outbreak brought  a number  of challenges to the international students: time zone differences, internet connections, technical barriers and Covid-19 threats in their own countries. Despite the challenges, SUSTech international students strengthened their connection with the university via the Chinese language and culture courses, tutorials, and culture-themed interactions. The CLC teaching team provides their effective support to the international students and builds up a bridge of learning, communication, and love.
01 Shift to Online Active Learning
To address the relatively lower engagement found in online learning compared to face-to-face classes due to distance barriers and technical difficulties, the CLC program designed a great variety of activities, such as project-based learning, presentations, speech competitions, debates, role-playing, and peer-review activities to engage students and to promote their ownership of learning. Motivated by their course instructors and peers, students learned to become  active learners via their increased engagement and ownership of learning.  
Student Homework Exhibition: 第22课 《母亲的心》
Student Presentation: My Favorite Chinese Cuisine

02 Flexibility Makes Inclusivity 

Online teaching brings more flexibility and inclusivity. For the CLC team, integrated platforms and tools for different skills practiced are applied. Live classes are  used to present new grammar and topics, while class videos  available on Blackboard provide opportunities for students to review. These tools enable learning to becomes more accessible for the international students troubled by time zone differences. QQ and WeChat are also helpful tools for class interaction and communication outside of  class time. With them, every student has a chance to speak and write. Both teachers and students can listen to and view all the course materials in and out of class.

 

Student Writing Exercise

 

 

ZHU Wenhui, Course Coordinator

 

“The Chinese Culture course is not mere knowledge retention. Students’ critical thinking, creation, and interest for China are equally valuable. Active learning motivates international students to explore Chinese culture in almost every aspect. From Chinese philosophy to great poets, featured cuisine to new science & technology, students apply digital resources in their learning naturally and surprise me with their understanding and acquisition of China and Chinese culture. By  involvement with various Chinese cultural activities (discussions, project-based essays, and individual/group presentations) and applying what they have learned to professional contexts as well as daily life situations, international students initiatively summarize their cultural experiences at  SUSTech and China, and firmly connect themselves back to our university and country.

Face-to-face interactions are used as much as possible in my class. Face-to-face interactions urge students to attend the class on time, participate in class activities actively, get immediate responses from the teacher and receive enough attention since  the teacher is around. Face-to-face contact also includes teaching methods in the form of video/audio calls when using Wechat or QQ.

Regular and constructive communication between students and teachers is crucial to online teaching. Assignment feedback and review, as well as discussion response in/after class improves both online teaching and learning experiences. Students’ personal opinions and difficulties out of class are also encouraged to be shared with teachers.”

 

Huang Caiyuan, Course Instructor

“For students with less than two  years Chinese studying experience, live class is my preferred  choice to give lectures of new grammar patterns and new topics, which can maximize the interactive opportunities. Students can ask questions and receive the answers instantly without waiting. Teachers can also adjust the teaching pace according to students’ responses.

QQ and WeChat are used for speaking practice. After receiving the practice instructions, students just need to turn off their microphones to avoid disturbing others, record their voice while speaking and send the recordings at the required time. In addiction,these two platforms have also been used for writing practice particularly for 2-3 sentences-long text, which helps to check if students are able to use the newly learnt words and patterns  correctly.

Polls  are frequently used for new word practice, like dictation, translation  and true or false exercises,  Students can type their answers with the shared website, then their answers will be displayed instantly on the same page as  mine. As the teachers, I can see their response speed. I can also decide whether or not to share the answers page.”

 

 

 

Qi Yi
Course Instructor

“How to improve students’ engagement for online class and learn Chinese actively? My experiences are 1. Require students to conduct  previews for each lesson and check regularly. Students are asked to submit their reading recordings of the new words and texts before each class; 2. Based on text contents, I design exercises of multiple forms on Blackboard for in-class tests to estimate how good students master the teaching content; 3. Peer-review: Students are divided into pairs to comment on each other’s writing; 4. Combine language learning with its usage. Based on teaching contents, practical language activities were organized, such as speech competition; video exhibition, case-based discussion, and essay.”


The online teaching of international students creates unique challenges, but within the Chinese Language and Culture course, we view these as learning opportunities. Our reach is global, and through these innovative teaching approaches, we try to bridge our physical distance through personal attention to learning.

 

MOVING FORWARD

Despite all the difficulties, CLE teachers have successfully and creatively converted the difficult self-isolation time during the pandemic into an active learning arena via planning ahead, adjusting teaching plans and designs, working in teams, experimenting with various online tools and platforms, guiding students to have an effective learning pace and progress, and encouraging them to be the owner of their learning.

Stay calm and keep learning to be great in the time of pandemic!

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