What do you teach in the first lesson of your Chinese class? How do you help your students gain interests in the Chinese language and learn Chinese at ease? With more than three years experiences in teaching Chinese as a second language, I would like to share my instructional strategy of teaching self-introduction in my Chinese classroom. When I taught in Harmony Tree Learning Center, a summer camp Chinese program in east LA,, this approach worked well with  my beginner and intermediate students aging from 6 to 13 years old, and provided easy steps to  learn Chinese number, nationality, and personal pronounces.

 

1. Watch a Video

2. Form-focused Instruction: Vocabulary  

Review the vocabulary from the video and introduce sentence structure of self-introduction in Chinese:

Sentence Structure

  • 你好。

  • 我____岁。

  • 我叫________。

  • 我读____年级。

  • 我是____国人。

3. Practice: pair work

Divide students into pairs and have students  introduce themselves to their partners using the sentence structure provided.

4. Form-focused Instruction: Grammar

Explain to students how personal pronoun will affect sentence structure, using "这是…" (This is ...) instead of "我叫" (I am ...), "他/她" (S/He) instead of "我" (I). For example, “大家好,这是…他/她 几岁。他/她 读几年级。他/她 是美国人。” If you have a small-sized class with sufficient class time, you could ask every student to introduce their partners in front of the whole class.

5. Practice: presentational task

Show students some posters that contained pictures cut off from magazines. The poster below shows a young girl that is similar to my students’ age (9-14). Sentence structures are presented on the right: “大家好,这是____。 他/她 ___岁。他/她 读___年级。他/她 是___国人。” I gave each pair a unique poster and asked them to discuss the kid in the picture. After the discussion, each pair will present the person on their posters.

Reflection

Introducing people is something we usually face in real life and students find it useful and interesting. Teaching self-introduction helps learners connect better with the target language group. With visual aids and rich exposure to the target language, learners are able to learn Chinese at ease and gain interests in the Chinese language and culture . About the author Want to try out Discovering Chinese Pro? Request a free one week trial here or contact your account managers (Kelly , David and Amy) for assistance.

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