Independent learning means shifting the responsibility for the learning process from the teacher to the students. The teacher’s role becomes that of coach and facilitator. Students can make learning choices and progress at different paces but this all occurs within the framework set up by the teacher.
In the flipped classroom students can learn content online and class time can be spent on more challenging activities developing deeper understanding and proficiency. The teacher can spend more time giving personalised help to individual students. As active participants in the learning process, students can also influence the learning direction (with the teacher’s guidance) and teachers can set up tasks which connect with students’ lives.
Discovering Chinese Pro is ideal for promoting learner independence and a flipped classroom model. The core content for each topic is clearly presented in each unit and students can interact with the program to hear, read, write and record themselves, while the teacher can monitor their progress online and respond to each student individually. The program provides immediate feedback for listening and reading tasks which makes it much more practical for teachers to provide genuine differentiated instruction both in and out of the classroom.
Jiongzhou Ford is keenly interested in innovative teaching practice and has a particular interest in independent learning. She adopted Discovering Chinese Pro as the core resource for her students because of the greatly increased opportunities it offers for students to take ownership of their own learning. It also opened up many new and exciting teaching possibilities.
When nearing the end of a unit on days dates (on both the lunar and Gregorian calendars), Jiongzhou moved the focus to Chinese New Year. Even though the students were at beginner level, with Discovering Chinese Pro school accounts, they could still access materials in the higher volumes and Jiongzhou selected and adapted the language from Festivals unit to suit their needs. As one of the students in the class was from an aboriginal community, she made the cross cultural focus between Chinese New Year and NAIDOC Week (Aboriginal Australia’s major festival). The students and teachers worked as a group to adapt the language learnt to describe Chinese New Year to describe NAIDOC Week activities. Students were all highly engaged in the process and produced written work of a high level for beginner students.
DC Pro can be accessed on iPad or online