Minfang Zou Maguire
Project approach - Chia Chinese Learning's approach
There are different ways to learn a language. At Chia Chinese Learning, we definitely offer the fun ways. One of Chia's ways is Project Approach.
In today's fast-paced world, there are so many things we can learn at the click of a button. However, to learn a language like Chinese —a complex language which requires recognizing thousands of written characters while also memorizing their meaning and pronunciation as two separate important components of reading and writing —takes time and effort. That might be why most schools with young learners choose not to offer Chinese as an option for their students.
Cindy (Huang laoshi) and Minfang (Zou laoshi) came from two successful settings of language learning environment. Cindy's teaching experiences in Reggio Emilia immersion program with a deep knowledge of age-appropriate learning approaches brought her to start home school Chinese learning program during the toughest pandemic period. Minfang found her passion in experiential learning from years teaching in a Montessori school and a progressive school which believes in project-based learning. After sharing and exchanging the practices that work best for teaching Chinese language to students from Pre-K to 6th grade, they came to the conclusion of what could best approach to teach Chinese language to young learners: Project Approach.
“At all age levels, project work provides contexts for careful observation, in-depth investigation exchange of ideas, mutual support, cooperation, collaboration, resolving conflicts, seeking further information on the related topics, and other important experiences while in the process of learning about significant aspects in the world of people, objects, and events around them.”
- Engaging Children’s Minds: The Project Approach by Lilian Katz, Sylvia Chard and Yvonne Kogan
Learners of Chia Chinese Learning will be engaged in learning Chinese language from real-life experiences. If the lesson is about fruits, they will see, feel and even taste the fruits; if we cannot go to Silkroad, we will investigate the process of silk making or ways of transportations traveling in China in history. The project can be as simple as making a cup phone to practice talking on the phone, it can also be as complex as writing a skit about calling to invite a friend to a party.
We look forward to seeing the sparks in our students’ eyes when they’re motivated, engaged and excited about learning Chinese!