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Teaching Chinese Online has Become a New Trend

Affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, offline Chinese teaching is limited. Under this background, teachers teaching Chinese as a foreign language actively expand Chinese teaching channels. People explored different ways to make Chinese learning accessible. They take self-portraits of fairy tales, set up Chinese diaries, and interact with students. Because of this trend, social media, live webcasts, and other forms are increasingly used in overseas Chinese classes. The epidemic situation has prompted teaching Chinese online to become the new standard.

Classin was the first medium for online classes. Later on, they opted for Zoom. With the support of these platforms, our Chinese classroom can become more lively and interesting. In this process, I also found that, apart from the assistance of platforms and multimedia, to bring them a better learning experience, the most important thing is what teachers can do for students in every teaching class. Today, I want to share my experience of both online and offline teaching of 52ChineseLearning.

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1. Challenges of Online Teaching

1.1 network problems 

In some remote areas or underdeveloped countries or regions, the network signal is poor, the network speed is slow, and the network is used for a limited time. Even in cases where there’s no network problem, there’s an inherent online restriction

1.2 technical matters

Compared with the traditional training model, online teaching and training are really new. No matter how proficient organizers, training experts, or participating teachers are, their efforts will be in vain if they can’t utilize the learning channel well. There’s an additional load for teachers for they all need to know the various functions of the used teaching platform.

1.3 Online teaching organization and management

Faced with the change in students’ learning places, it is self-evident that the organization and management of online teaching are difficult. No matter what problems teachers need to face, such as courseware making, video intellectual property rights, students’ concentration, classroom effectiveness, interest, etc. It has brought a series of problems such as teaching and student management to our teachers.

2. The Demand for Online Teaching

2.1 Teaching Aspect

Online Teaching is quite strenuous as well. People need a long preparation time due to the difficulty in designing teaching links. 64% of teachers think that the preparation time before class is too long, and they need to spend a lot of time preparing lessons. The demand for online teaching is mainly the live teaching activities, games (72.9%), and the overall design of the course (63%).

Teachers are having a hard time How to show “warm-up, dictation, pinyin explanation, new words explanation, grammar explanation, text processing, group exercises, homework exercises, and game activities”. Although the main teaching links such as new words, words, grammar, and texts can be conducted online, the transition from offline to online remains difficult for teachers to adjust to. In the traditional classroom, multimedia courseware such as PPT is only an auxiliary means, but online teaching depends on the whole process, and teaching without this courseware is almost impossible.

2.2 Technical Aspects

The production and design of online courses is the key to online Chinese teaching, which mainly includes multimedia (courseware, etc.) production technology and teaching platform operation technology. However, most teachers are not tech-savvy. 40.7% of teachers think that it is difficult to make even the bare minimum courseware by themselves.

They are having a great deal of difficulty in adding videos and animation videos to PPT courseware. 32.2% of teachers are “unskilled in using the teaching software platform”. 62.4% of teachers hope to get technical support, including the production of PPT courseware (62.4%), the recording of video courses (41.3%), and the use of live broadcast platforms such as Zoom (41.1%).

Many overseas Chinese teachers choose Zoom software because it is more popular in the local area, and there are many inconveniences in the overseas use of Chinese software, such as difficulty in downloading, inability to register and bind, security verification, and so on. In addition, most overseas Chinese learners are teenagers and children, and the software operation needs the help of parents, who are different in age and level.

2.3 Resources

58.3% of Chinese teachers hope to provide “multimedia resources available for online courses, etc.”. In addition, students also lack corresponding e-learning resources. Although some live broadcasts can generate playback, they are often large files, which makes it difficult to download them.

2.4 Classroom Management

In online teaching, students must use mobile phones or computers, and it is difficult for students with poor self-control to concentrate on lectures. According to the survey, 47.6% of students “can’t concentrate in the process of teaching”, and 42.2% of Chinese teachers think that “they can’t interact effectively with students in the process of teaching.” “Sometimes teachers make great efforts to prepare lessons, but students can’t take them.”  Plus, there’s a huge decrease in participation. Only individual students can give timely feedback in the interactive session in class, and introverted or quiet children are easily overlooked, which put forward high requirements for teachers’ classroom management ability.

Teaching Chinese online is both a new opportunity and a new challenge! Without going abroad, we can provide high-quality Chinese lessons to Chinese learners.

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