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.
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.
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.
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.
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.