NIE takes Chinese teaching to English speakers
Friday, 27 February 2015
comes to teaching Chinese to students who are more proficient in English,
Singapore knows a thing or two.
the National Institute of Education (NIE) has crystallised the wisdom of
teachers here and launched a master's course in teaching Chinese to students
from countries where English is the dominant language.
course in Teaching Chinese as an International Language started last month with
48 students. Three in four are from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macau,
with the rest from Singapore.
can see the rapid rise of China as a global economic power.
is a worldwide trend of an increasing number of learners who are seeking to
master the Chinese language," said course coordinator Choong Kok Weng, a
senior lecturer at NIE's Asian languages and cultures department.
taking the new course will learn to use English to support the teaching of
people directly translate sentences from English to Chinese, they often get
their sentence structures wrong," said Associate Professor Joyce Aw of the
a teacher who is not proficient in English and Chinese will not be able to
explain to a student why a sentence structure works in English, but is
incorrect in Chinese."
Goh Yeng Seng, who headed the NIE Asian languages and cultures department until
last year, said Singapore has an advantage over other places when designing
such a course.
Singapore, English is used as the main language. But Chinese is also important
here - we have Chinese-language newspapers, radio and television
stations," he said.
course could put NIE and its pedagogies on the world stage, said Prof Goh.
main role is to train teachers for our local education landscape. But we also hope to
make a name internationally in this area, especially when we have the right environment,"
To get into the
course, students must show proficiency in English, and have either a degree
where Chinese is the medium of instruction, or a postgraduate teacher
education qualification specialising in teaching Chinese.
Singaporean Peng Xuan
Hui, 25, took up the two-year full-time course after working for nearly two
years at a language centre.
Peng, who holds an NIE bachelor's degree specialising in teaching Chinese,
said: "I have always been interested in the teaching and learning of
Chinese as a foreign language."
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Source: AsiaOne (Online), sph