No better place to write your notes, hear the wallowing of the waves, smell the floating wafts of drying fish and drink a lovely espresso than the Slow Life Café on Cheung Chau. Let me recommend it to you if you want your annual holiday on the weekend: the slow ferry, the womb rhythms of the engine, the beating of the waves and the arresting taste of one the best coffees in Hong Kong.
Where was I? Yes, teacher training in Beijing under the guidance of Zhang Jian from the Chinese Language Education Research Center to help teachers raise their language competence in the context of teaching for the new National Children’s English Test. How’s that for a sentence saving on punctuation?
Train The Teacher has had the extended pleasure of being involved in the new National Children’s English Test (NCET) in China. As is the norm for anyone teaching a language there is a range of masteries that are required and that evolve through use and continual attention. While the metaphor of living in a house as you design and build it has been applied to learning, it is challenging to find a metaphor for teachers who of necessity must present a settled design from which students learn while evolving their own notions of what the building is to look like and learning to live as the guide in the continual reconstruction.
No better example of this is the teacher who must master language while at times using methods to teach a particular book, or course, or for an exam system which she knows is less than ideal.
The new NCET provides a solution and an approach that addresses in close detail the requirements of The Ministry of Education "English Curriculum Standards" (2011 edition), and adopts in part the spoken exam system that structures the Trinity GESE.
Such things as building self-confidence, stimulating interest in learning, developing broad language skills, critical thinking and cultural awareness are some of the outcomes of an exam which also intends to establish itself as the benchmark for language learning in learning centers in China. The expectation is that not only will we have a test with solid outcomes but there will be an evidence based system for comparing the educational fitness of learning centers in China.
The test assesses Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing for Primary and Junior Middle School students with age appropriate tasks commensurate with international exams.
We will include some samples of one of the test papers in a future blog.
Now, where am I? On a train to Shanghai, remembering when I started writing this at Slow Life. :)