Multimedia products in K-12 Chinese classroom
I teach Chinese in an afterschool class in a public elementary school and my kids are from non-heritage families. In the beginning, it was hard for me to get their attention to focus on this Chinese class; they often get distracted easily. Every time if someone walked by the classroom or if they heard voices, they would get distracted and impatient. They would raise their hands not because they have questions about what I was teaching but because they want to eat or want to go to the restroom.
I found that the best solution to help my students focus in class is to use multimedia products. I use CD-ROMs and audio CDs a lot, and students love it. They especially like singing songs. At the end of the class, I would teach them a new song. In the beginning of class, I would review the song we learned the last time. For each song, I would design some actions, so they can dance with the music. The actions and the songs helped them to remember the meaning of the words in the song. Furthermore, because of the melody, they remembered the words more easily.
CD-ROMs also help a lot. To watch the CD-ROMs is like watching a cartoon. The animation gets their attention and helps them to remember the meaning of the text and words. The only problem is that not every classroom has these equipments. It is very heavy if a teacher has to carry a CD-player, computer, and projector every time. Do you use multimedia products in your class and do you have these equipments in your classroom?