中葡对照版 2015年第2期 马达加斯加塔那那利佛大学孔子学院汉语教师 叶小娜 2016-06-12
Chinese-English No.2 2011 Ye Xiaona2016-06-17
Before I set out for Madagascar, a friend jokingly said: “You can raise a giraffe there.” For many people, all they know about this place comes from the cartoon movie “Madagascar.” In the past six months of working as a Chinese teacher at the Confucius Institute at Antananarivo University, I have seen the adorable animals and also the faces of many happy students.
Every time I see their smiling faces, I’m delighted to help make them happy in my Chinese class. To achieve this goal, I try to create a relaxing atmosphere. I also have some interesting anecdotes.
When I first taught the class, I found the students didn’t have a good sense of Chinese language. To encourage them to express themselves in Chinese, I designed a story-telling assignment. Before class, a student would be asked to tell a story or a joke in Chinese. At first, they were nervous and unsure but gradually they became more relaxed and their stories became much more enjoyable. Not only the students, but I also, looked forward to the story-telling: “What jokes will they tell today?” This short “warm-up” before class helps improve the students’ Chinese expression skills. Our Chinese classroom is always filled with laughter.
Every month, we have a “little teacher” exercise, in which the students act as the teacher to explain new words and texts. I, as the judge, select the best “little teacher.” The students always get fully prepared, but, of course, they also experience embarrassing moments. Once, a student was assigned to explain the Chinese words for nose and hair. I thought these words were so easy that pointing to one’s own nose To my surprise, the student, standing before the class, cleared his throat and said: “The nose is in the middle of the head and sticking out...” The class burst into laughter, but he continued. “Hair is on the top of the head, black in color...” Shortly, even I laughed myself to tears. He was so funny! This exercise greatly motivated the students. They no longer passively sit to be taught but actively take part in the class.
One day, I took the students outside to help them learn Chinese in a more innovative way and apply what they had learned to real life. I divided the class into a few groups and asked them to be our tour guides, introducing the famous architecture and buildings on the campus. They were so excited and showed me around the whole campus. It was a great success. The students carefully prepared their introduction texts and even made a field study at the classroom building beforehand. The group of introducing the library was the most impressive. Their explanation was very clear and well-organized. With their help, I easily applied for and got my library card!
There are endless funny stories about our laughter-filled classroom. Because of these delightful students, my life away from my own home is full of happiness and I am confident of the future of Chinese education.