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Chinese Teaching in Nan Chiau School in San Francisco

As Chinese language becomes more popular, many schools and institutions are set to teach foreigners to learn Mandarin. It is reported by the China Press that Nan Chiau School established in the year of 1920 is one of the earliest overseas Chinese schools in San Francisco. Originally, there were less than 30 people attend to this school to learn Chinese language.

Nowadays, the number of students has reached 1,400, gradually becoming the largest and most attractive Chinese school in San Francisco. When mentioning the development of overseas Chinese schools, Liu Jieluan, the principle of Nan Chiau School has a lot to say. The teachers in Chinese language schoolwould tell you that the purpose of Miss Liu is to turn the students’ idea “I should study Chinese language” to “I want to learn Chinese language”.

Liu Jieluan has been the principle of Nan Chiau School for 21 years. During this long process, she has devoted all her efforts and energy to the school to realize the standardized operation and regular teaching. As a result, the teaching quality and social reputation are increasingly improved. What’s more, foreigners who study in China may be told that much effective experience has been accumulated to teach Chinese language.

According to Miss Liu, most children of overseas Chinese show little enthusiasm in learning Chinese language and Chinese culture. Especially for those younger students, most of them are forced by their parents to attend to Chinese school to study Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, it is the top priority of every teacher to stimulate their interest to learn Chinese language and accept and love Chinese culture.

Liu Jieluan thinks it is the most important task with the most challenges and also the biggest harvest. Therefore, she has been always pursuing the goal of guiding students from the situation of “I should learn Chinese” to “I want to study Mandarin”. She holds the opinion that the language learning interest is the most significant point. Teachers in Chinese learning programs should spare no effort to stimulate their passion by all means.

Starting with students’ most favorite and most acceptable link, the teachers in Nan Chiau School teach Chinese following the order of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Foreigners who learn Chinese in China may be told that they begin teaching with listening stories or watching TV, and continues to teach some simple daily expressions and dialogues, or sing Chinese songs and recite nursery rhymes or even play games. Gradually, reading and writing will be taught, making learning enjoying but not forced.

In this way, the learning interest is gradually gained. Then the habit of learning is formed. When we reach the goal of helping learners become willing to learn Chinese, the teaching efficiency is greatly improved. Besides, they can learn better because they become initiative. As a result, not only the children of overseas Chinese go to Nan Chiau School, even some foreigners send their children there to study.

As an increasing number of students attend to the school to study, Miss Liu is very proud of what she has done. Most of the students are those who are willing to study Mandarin Chinese. Some of them learn Chinese language for Chinese grades. Some are driven by their love for Chinese language. Some of them want to lay a firm foundation of Chinese language for entering a famous university.

The teachers from summer program in China may often tell you that the excellent students are always the pride of them. In Nan Chiau School, there are lots of excellent students with good performance, manners and skills. The backbone student cadre Wang Fangfang and the versatile Zhao Fangting with many awards are two representatives of the excellent students.

When foreigners study in volunteer programs in China, they might have heard about the story of Wang Fangfang, the excellent student in Nan Chiau School. She is well-known not only for her proficient Chinese language, but also her intelligent and versatility. For example, in the graduation dinner held by Nan Chiau School in the year of 2008, one teacher provided the first line of a couplet “康年届届谢师宴” to seek the latter part. Within two minutes, she found the fantastic answer “南桥岁岁出人才”.

The Nan Chiau School has made great progress in Chinese language teaching. Nowadays, more foreigners want to learn Chinese language. Therefore, more schools of this kind are needed to teach Chinese to foreigners.
 

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