GCI Chinese Language Teacher Training 2020 Goes Online

The Groningen Confucius Institute (GCI) has been offering a Chinese language teacher training since 2013, but due to COVID-19, it was forced to set up online training for the first time. Using the Zoom platform, GCI organised its 2020 Online Chinese Language Teacher in three sessions on 4, 11 and 18 October. The three-day training attracted around 60 Chinese teachers from all over the world.

Prior to initiating the first training session on 4 October, GCI Chinese Director Jiahui Jiang gave a welcoming speech, expressing her hope that the three-session training would provide teachers with fresh new ideas and methods on teaching Chinese.

GCI Director Jiahui Jiang, during her welcoming speech

Dr. Zhu Zhu, a PhD graduate in Translation Studies and Lecturer in Interpreting and Language Acquisition at the University of Aberdeen gave the first lecture. Dr. Zhu Zhu pointed out the difficulty many students experienced, namely that they were able to perform the grammar exercises correctly, but had trouble using the same grammar in practical applications.in productive language. To help students better understand and use the grammar, she suggested that the key is to explain to students the function of a grammatical structure explicitly and to devise exercises relating to situations or contexts that are meaningful to them. In this seminar, examples were given on how to apply the approach in a Chinese language classroom of adult learners who are introduced to using the 把 (ba) construction and structures in talking about past events.

Dr. Zhu Zhu, giving her lecture on grammar use

Following the lecture, GCI teachers Jingfan Xie and Yang Wang gave a workshop during which they shared a scope of practical activities and games for improving students’ oral communication skills in Chinese, including The Puppet, Who is the Spy, Two Truths and a Lie, and Story Dominoes. These games and activities could not only be used for both online and offline Chinese teaching, but also as extracurricular activities.

GCI Teachers Jingfan Xie (above) and Yang Wang (below), giving their games and practical activities workshop

On 11 October, GCI teacher Wenjia Xu and two GCI students, Jonathan Maskikit and Johanna Krebs, hosted a panel discussion on the challenges, problems, potential solutions and also the opportunities of the ‘new normal’ of online language education from different perspectives.

GCI teacher Wenjia Xu and two GCI students, Jonathan Maskikit and Johanna Krebs, hosting the panel discussion

The lecture that followed the panel discussion was given by Ms. Ying Jin from the Fremont Union High School District in California. She demonstrated how to incorporate ACTFL Three Modes of Communication in Chinese teaching and how to engage students in the language classroom, especially in remote learning environments. In addition, Ms. Ying Jin elaborated on what kinds of differentiation strategies could be used to meet the needs of all learners. During her lecture, she introduced several classroom activities such as Ask Ask Trade, Quiz Quiz Trade and also invited teachers to experience some of the practical online educational platforms like Nearpod and StoryJumper, among others.

Ms. Ying Jin, explaining her classroom activity design

On 18 October, Mr. Zhigang Liu introduced the use of film and TV materials in teaching by playing various clips he collected for teaching Chinese words, phrases and sentences. He emphasized the importance of combining film and TV materials with pedagogical concepts and activities. In another segment of this training session, Ms. Fang He showed teachers how to create interactive courseware with 10 PowerPoint basic functions, specifically animation functions like appear, exit, motion paths and other functions such as trigger, animation painter. After her demonstration, Ms. Fang He led all teachers to complete a teaching slide called Bite a Cookie.

Mr. Zhigang Liu, explaining the three features of film and TV materials in teaching Chinese

Ms. Fang He, during her lecture on how to create interactive courseware with PowerPoint

At the end of the last training session, GCI Director Xuefei Knoester-Cao gave a closing speech, extending her gratitude to the teachers who put much effort into organising this online training programme. She also warmly congratulated all participant teachers who have successfully completed the three-day training. Mrs Xuefei Knoester-Cao drew attention to how much online teaching has brought to Chinese teaching: not only huge challenges but also great opportunities! She concluded by expressing her hope that teachers seize this online opportunity for a greater contribution to teaching Chinese.

GCI Director Xuefei Knoester-Cao giving the closing speech

Groningen Confucius Institute
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Oude Boteringestraat 44
9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting address:
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9712 GL Groningen
The Netherlands

tel. +31 (0)50 - 36 34 688