Spotlight on our Teachers: Mdm Tan Meng Chin 陈明珍老师

As a senior teacher in Han Language Centre with over 40 years of teaching experience, Mdm Tan Meng Chin believes that the key to helping students excel lies in building trusting relationships and active listening. 

In this issue of Joy of Learning, we spoke to her as she shares more about her passion and experience in teaching Chinese language.

问:是什么让您想要持续教书?

答:我对华文一直有着浓厚的兴趣,从小的志愿也是要当一名老师。这可能是受到我二哥的影响,因为他是一名华文教师。很可惜的是,我年轻时没机会念大学。但是,我一直没忘记父亲想要我念大学的期盼。到了40岁那年,我终于报读了大学,后来还顺利完成了硕士课程。25年前,我进了汉语文中心,也圆了我想站在课室里头教书的梦想。自始至终,我对教书的热忱从没熄灭。

Q: What keeps you going as a teacher?

A: I have always had a strong interest in Chinese language and wanted to be a teacher since young. This might be inspired by my second brother as he was a Chinese teacher. It was a pity that I did not have the chance to attend university when I was younger. Despite so, I have never forgotten my father’s wish for me to have a university education. Thus, at the age of 40, I finally enrolled myself in university, and even successfully completed the Master’s Programme later on. I have also managed to fulfil my dream of becoming a classroom teacher after I entered Han Language Centre 25 years ago. My passion for teaching remains strong till today.

问:请您和大家分享您的教书心得。

答:教书一定要足够的爱心和耐心。作为一位教师,我们也应该英材施教,根据学生的程度和需求来教导他们。与此同时,我们也要有同理心,站在学生的立场,以他们的思维去了解他们对事情的看法,并给予鼓励和正面引导。我们做老师尽管尽心教导,也需要学生全力配合。我常对我的学生说:不怕慢,只怕站,那是因为就算你走得慢,你终究还是会走到目的地,但如果你站在原地不动,那你是不会进步的。有了老师的用心和学生自己付出的努力,我们才会看到效果。

 

Q: Please share with us some of your thoughts on teaching.

A: First of all, a teacher must be caring and patient. As teachers, we must also teach according to the students’ needs and capability. Furthermore, we need to have empathy so that we can understand things from the students’ perspectives and provide them with positive guidance and encouragement. While we may put our heart and soul into teaching, it would be futile if the students do not cooperate with us. I often tell my students not to be afraid of being slow, but never keep still. That is because even if you move slowly, you will eventually still be able to reach your destination. However, if you refuse to move ahead, there will never be an improvement. There will only be positive result when both the teacher and student put in effort.

问:对于现在大多的孩子都用英语沟通,您有什么看法?

答:我对此感到非常遗憾。我常告诉家长要多和孩子讲华语,让讲华语变成一种习惯。在现在这个英语的大环境里,当孩子到了学校或社会一定学得会英语,反而如果他们不常以华语沟通,华文程度一定会有所退步。掌握华语是非常重要的,因为那样我们才能掌握自己的母语并了解自己的文化。我希望华语能够成为学生一生都能受用的语言,而不是为了考试而学习的语言。

Q: Most children tend to communicate in English nowadays. What are your thoughts on such phenomenon?

A: I feel that it is a pity. I often tell parents to make it a habit to communicate in Mandarin with their children. In the current English-speaking society, learning English will not be an issue for children by the time they start school. On the contrary, if they do not have much opportunity to communicate in Mandarin, their Chinese proficiency will definitely decline. Mastering Chinese language is very important as it helps us to master our mother tongue language and understand our culture better. I hope that students can see Chinese as a useful and meaningful everyday language, instead of something that they learn merely for exams.

问:对于华文程度不高的学生,您会用什么方式去教导呢?

答:对于华文程度较弱的学生,我会建议他们上我们的奋进课程,因为老师会用简单的词汇来讲解教材,那样学生也比较容易理解教课内容。我个人也经常以提问的方式帮助学生表达他们的意见,让他们慢慢建立讲华语的信心。我认为最重要的是和学生打成一片,不要摆个老师的架子,尽量让学生觉得你是和蔼可亲的。那样的话,大家相处起来就会轻松得多,学习华文也事半功倍。

 

Q: How would you teach students who are weaker in Chinese?

A; For students who are weaker in the language, I would suggest them to join our Tuition Programme as the teacher will use simpler vocabulary to explain concepts. This helps students to understand the syllabus more easily. Personally, I would also guide students to express their own opinions through facilitated discussion to build their confidence in speaking Mandarin. Most importantly, I feel that teachers should try to get along well with the students and make them feel comfortable around you. This will help to create livelier classroom interaction and enable students to learn more effectively. 

Looking for the right class to help your child better cope with Chinese? Find out more about our brand new Secondary Tuition Programme!

Specially designed to help students who are weaker in Chinese language to do better, our Tuition Programme focuses on revising the content learnt in school and teaches students various techniques to score better in tests and exams. Time is also set aside in every class for teachers to help students solve Chinese school work questions and get targeted help. To learn more, call/whatsapp us at 9661 8692.

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