Another article from hk01 about the difficulties faced by children from non-Chinese speaking families since school classes schools moved online.
This is an English language summary.
The article describes the experience of A Wen, a Primary 2 school student at the Hong Kong Taoist Association Wun Tsuen School. After a week of struggling to complete the Chinese homework online he feels very discouraged and doesn’t want to do anymore online study.
If students are unable to understand the schoolwork they’ve been set, it’s very discouraging for them and can lead to a lack of motivation for Chinese learning. Also, when homework consists of multiple choice worksheets, it’s easy for the students to complete the worksheet, but without learning very much.
In a school setting, teachers can use a variety of strategies to support children from non-Chinese speaking backgrounds; by dividing the children into groups according to their language ability or using the linguistically stronger children to help the ones with less developed language skills.
But these teaching strategies are difficult to achieve in the online classroom.
The article includes an interview with Ms Lau Wai Chun, school principal of Hong Kong Taoist Association Wun Tsuen School, a former ‘designated school’ for ethnic minorities. Mrs Lau explains how the school is trying to make online learning more effective for children from non-Chinese speaking backgrounds. This includes using the ‘raise hand’ button on Zoom so that students can ask the teacher a question.
The article concludes by noting the irreplaceable benefits of face-to-face teaching. After the epidemic is over the academic community must reflect on this experience and consider how to best respond to the differing needs of students, how to combine e- teaching with regular classroom teaching and how to respond flexibly to the challenges of teaching and learning.