This time last year I was working for a school in southern China which is famous for its integration of the arts and classical Chinese studies into the general curriculum. It is often considered to be a model school for the future of education in China. The school gets a lot right: due to some great teachers and a lovely campus, the students have access to many wonderful opportunities, especially when compared with what the public school nearby has to offer.
However, there are certain key areas where the students are lacking valuable skills that are actively not being taught in the school. Yes, the school knows these gaps exist, the administration has been informed of this often, yet they refuse to see it as their problem. These issues must be addressed if these students are to gain any true value from their lessons.
With the inclusion of so many extra activities during school hours, the lesson times are vastly reduced: just 35 minutes of class per subject, each day. Yes, you read that correctly. The core subjects of Math, Chinese, Phys. Ed, and calligraphy class receive less than an hour per day for both instruction and for students to perform classwork. Science - depending on the student's age - is relegated to merely two or three classes per week!
If given only 24 hours to teach a language, which 5 skills or strategies would you focus on teaching? Click through to read my answers, and to add your own.Read More