These activities are wonderful platforms for pupils to express themselves freely and apply their learning to discuss social issues.
To this end, Huili selects diversified teaching materials from Chinese and world literature supported by our teaching methods. This helps our pupils grow up to become well rounded, globally minded adults.
“Chinese is not a subject that only teaches knowledge; its core value lies in shaping people’s character and thinking,” says Yoland Li, Huili’s Secondary School Chinese Coordinator. “Therefore, Chinese teaching at Secondary School focuses on developing pupils' rich emotions and free thinking.”
Our Chinese teachers have a deep understanding of texts taught throughout the school year.
They categorise texts according to themes and reorganise units after clarifying unit goals. They include as many genres and literary concepts as possible in one unit.
“Chinese learning should never be limited to understanding words, phrases or structures of a particular text,” she adds. “Rather, it should teach pupils to understand the author's intentions and emotions as well as the text in a particular background. Pupils are also encouraged to think about the text from a more macro and comprehensive perspective. Over a longer timeline, they can find their own connection with the work and the author. This helps them to experience empathy and develop their own ideas.”
Our G9 pupils spent one unit studying Su Shi, a highly respected figure in China’s literary pantheon. Through a selection of his three typical works, pupils reflected on Su Shi’s life of hardship and how he became a voice of optimism, openness and understanding.
How do our teachers organise a discussion that inspires pupils to engage in deeper analysis, reflection and understanding? They apply a pyramid model which deconstructs skills and actions. This helps them get to the heart of the text.
By studying these three works, the pupils gained a deep understanding of Su Shi and his works as they learned about his personal experiences during a trying time in history. This provided a broader context for Su Shi's other works as well as the works of his contemporaries.
Through these poems, pupils empathise with the emotions expressed in the poet’s works, whether he feels powerlessness, persistence, regret or despair. At the same time, pupils can reflect objectively on the author's various responses.
They exercise their analytical skills by examining historical facts.
Such interesting discussions are not limited just to Su Shi in Huili's Chinese classes. The revered poets Fan Zhongyan and Ouyang Xiu had similar experiences and political aspirations, but they expressed different attitudes in their poems. If they were relegated to each other’s places, would they express the same feelings?
This can also help our pupils to better understand the news of our current day.
Ultimately, pupils learn to understand themselves, their communities and their times. By cultivating empathy and curiosity, they will develop an independent and individualised worldview.
After building up these two important abilities, how do we help our pupils to bridge the gap between understanding and expression? Stay tuned for our next article.
Content support in courtesy of Ms. Yoland, Secondary Chinese Teacher