Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 016
2016 November

C-for-Chinese by JC

Learning Chinese has always been considered as special needs for non-Chinese speaking students; otherwise they are treated like any other Chinese speaking students and that schools are major places to learn, however, learning a language needs application to daily life. Therefore, the Jockey Club Charities Trust launched and donated a life-wide learning pioneer project to non-Chinese speaking kindergarten children to learn Chinese, trying to breakthrough the conventional mode of thinking and uses the approach of responding to culture and connect with everyday life experience. Tier learning model is used in response to learning diversity to facilitate learning and teaching.

With the funding from the Jockey Club Charities Trust, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Hong Kong Education University, Hong Kong SKH Lady MacLehose Centre and we launch this five-year pioneer project. Through connecting with schools, community and families, the project recruits non-Chinese speaking students from kindergartens in Yau Tsim Mong, Shamshuipo and Kwai Tsing districts, to form a life-wide learning responsive mode. An evidence-based research would be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness in improving the learning of language and to develop principles and framework of learning Chinese and its related assessment tools as reference for preschool and related professionals.

This pioneering project attempts to breakthrough limits of teaching venues. It extends from classrooms and schools to community and family, providing more opportunities for students to learn and apply what they have learnt. At school level, HKU designs a learning curriculum and syllabus to respond to its multi-cultural nature, Hong Kong Education University trains non-Chinese speaking youth as teaching assistants and places them in kindergartens to support kindergarten teachers in teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking students.

At the community level, PolyU sets up a Chinese Language Discovery Centre, to combine games and multi media with the curriculum and syllabus designed by HKU to support Chinese learning of the non-Chinese speaking students outside classrooms. While SKH Lady MacLehose Centre and we work on the family level to explore cultural resources within the families to guide them to learn Chinese as well as initiates parents to complement school syllabus to build up an environment for their children to learn Chinese at home. Furthermore, there are also support services to be provided when their children go to primary schools, Chinese speaking volunteers are also engaged in cultural exchange activities to enable more interaction with people of different cultural backgrounds to promote trans-cultural harmony.

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