School: Keysborough Secondary College
School level: Secondary
Key learning areas and year levels: Chinese, Humanities, English/EAL, Year 7
Anna Laktionova, a Chinese teacher at Keysborough Secondary College, visited China as part of the Victorian Department of Education and Training Languages Teaching Scholarships In-Country Course programme.
Anna attended one-on-one tutoring sessions, which helped her to expand her vocabulary, improve her speaking and listening skills, and learn more about Chinese current affairs. She reported that she found the textbook 'very interesting and engaging' and that it improved her Chinese reading skills. She also said that the in-country experience enabled her to 'gain more up-to-date understanding of Chinese everyday life and experiences'.
On returning to Australia, Anna has introduced an extensive introductory unit to her Year 7 students, covering in-depth pinyin, tone strokes and character formation. The class now uses a meta-language to discuss stroke order and character pronunciation, and reinforces learning through regular spelling tests. In addition, Anna uses photos and videos taken on her trip to show her students what life is like in China.
Anna also reported that the in-country experience has given her renewed confidence in her Chinese language skills, which has motivated her to use more Chinese in class. She is planning to share her experience with school staff in the near future.
During class, most of the instructions are now given in Chinese, partly due to the fact that I've gained more confidence in my Chinese language skills.
–Anna Laktionova, Keysborough Secondary College, VIC