Tailoring Mandarin classes to pupils' needs
Pupils engaged in their own conversations during class may be frowned upon by most teachers, but such behaviour is encouraged by Ms Liang Bei, 47, a Mandarin teacher in Invictus International School.
"Sometimes, they are required to walk around class and ask each other questions about their families or their hobbies to get to know each other better and practise their speech," she told The New Paper in Mandarin. "Of course, I only let them speak in Mandarin during lessons."
At Invictus, Ms Bei is able to customise classes to her pupils' needs. This is something she appreciates, having previously taught in other international schools with a fixed curriculum.
"The children come to us with different standards, some are bilingual, while most of them have never learnt Mandarin before," said Ms Bei, who comes from Xi'an in China and has five years of teaching experience in international schools.
"We practise differentiation to tailor the classes to each of the pupils' needs, so more work has to be put in by the teachers."
She spends between one week to a month at the start of each academic year assessing the ability of each of her pupils, before setting specific goals for each of them.
The curriculum is entirely designed by her, and worksheets and activities are customised to ensure that all pupils benefit from her lessons, regardless of their Mandarin abilities.
The children come to us with different standards, some are bilingual, while most of them have never learnt Mandarin before.Ms Liang Bei, a mandarin teacher in invictus international School
"We need to cater to the language capabilities of each child. Some can speak, read and write, while others are speaking it for the first time," said Ms Bei.