Submitted By: Josie Huang
Who here goes to Chinese school? If you do, have you ever wondered about your school’s teaching methods, the words you learn, or the amount of homework? Is your school different from other schools? In the Bay Area, since there is such a high Chinese population, there are many Chinese schools. However, most of these schools are different in many ways (some choose to use different books, teaching methods, etc.).
Recently, my mom decided she wanted me to switch Chinese schools because she didn’t like the one I went to, so, she took me to try out several different Chinese schools. During this experience, I learned a lot about the Chinese schools in my area and their differences. At my original Chinese school, we used a textbook that people in China schools would use as well. In class, we would read our lesson’s story and review some key words and phrases. The Chinese school was mainly focused on writing more than reading. Their homework ranged from 2-5 pages a day and took from 15-40 min a day to finish. I thought that this was quite a lot of homework and wanted to try another school with slightly less homework.
In the second school I went to, the first thing I noticed was that there was a startlingly low amount of students(less than ten) per class. In this school, we had a textbook made in the US, which included both English and Chinese. In this Chinese school, I was in grade seven, but I was learning words I had learned already in second grade at my old Chinese school. This indicated to me that the students in China are more advanced in Chinese than those in the U.S., though that was somewhat obvious. At this school, our homework was only one page per day and took us less than five minutes to complete. I felt as if I didn’t learn anything from this class.
The third school I attended had all the grades except for grade five, so students jumped directly from 4 to 6. In this school, instead of getting just textbooks and workbook, we also got a DVD to use for homework. Our class here was not boring because most of the teachers were young and energetic, so the lessons were stimulating and easy to pay attention to. This Chinese school was more focused on being able to read Chinese words rather than writing; because, apparently, when you take the AP Chinese test, the exams test you more on reading skills rather than writing skills. The words we learned weren’t too hard and were pretty appropriate and reasonable for the level. At this school, instead of just writing repetitive words and phrases, there was a variety of activities every day. The homework was also more entertaining and included playing Chinese games and watching Winnie the Pooh in Chinese, This “homework” helped us and only took about 20 minutes. Out of all of the schools I attended, this last one was my favorite because it was interesting and I still learned a lot.
If you had a choice, which one would you pick to go to?