saw this post shared on fb this morning:


这里边所描述的现象其实如果我们有关注的话,是一点也不新鲜的。换句话说是已存在多时的。 just to quote some words:


着眼这些现象,我们在各自不同的岗位能做些什么、应该做些什么? #timeNotOnOurSide #未为晚也

language learning – motivation, discipline

saw this post on fb that caught my eyes:


ignore, or look beyond the first paragraph.

the writer of this little piece was talking about practising music/violin #ipresume. 我们当中有玩乐器的就会知道,“练习”这一回事可以是奇闷无比的,但是不练又难以达到所需的(成熟)技术,尤其是手指的灵活度、身体对节奏的敏感与反映。@PS 不知道打羽球是不是也这样?


motivation (cf. 兴趣) 是我们热衷的话题。这一小段文字不禁提醒了我——或许我们在维系学生的学习动机的当儿,不可忽略的是discipline——纪律这一块。纪律,从“教”的角度出发较常关联的是课室管理classroom mgmt “CM”. 若从“学习”的角度出发呢?语文学习可以培养哪些纪律呢?换句话说,学习的语文的当儿其实也在“学习”纪律。

写到这儿,不禁又联想到,“学习”一词,引起开始的“学”或许是motivation;接下来能不能持之以恒地“习”,discipline就占主导了?当然,这里我想的是主次的关系,不是二分; it’s not a dichotomy.

motivation – discipline is an inseparable duo. @斯安 Skilful Teacher 中是这样阐释的吗? 😛

english dictation vs chinese dictation

today marks the opening session of ICT for SDL and CoL Clinic (traisi code 12470) for sec/jc/ci CL teachers. this course marks two first, a. the first blended learning course conducted at SCCL, and b. the first course i conduct at SCCL after joining the centre for 8 months. thanks to two fellow colleagues, Wu Jing and Anchi, who were there to lend support (:

during the class with 10 fellow CL teachers from 8 schools, i had a chance to share my view on the importance of questioning and be clear about the purpose(s) every time we introduce something (for e.g. an activity, an instruction, an approach) to our students.

this evening, i helped yh4 revised his english dictation taking place tmr. english dictation is carried out by the teacher reading aloud the words and punctuations, with students listening and writing out the passage on paper. last week this time, i helped yh3 revised his chinese dictation. chinese dictation is carried out by the students memorising 3 lengthy sentences and regurgitating them in class with pencil/pen & paper.

it appears that the practices of english dictation and chinese dictation haven been quite different with 30 yrs in between. i recalled going through such activities when i was a pri & sec student. i wonder when teachers carry out dictation, do anyone of us understand and/or question the purpose of carrying it out? until i do more research, i can only hypothesise that in english, the purpose is to assess if students could recall words as a whole, or to form words based on hearing pronunciation. ‘sound’ is closely associated with the word forms. at the same time, it could also be a training for students to sharpen their listening ability as they reproduce what they’ve heard in writing.

now, what’s the purpose of chinese dictation, aka mo-xie 默写? is the purpose just to test students’ ability to memorise chinese characters after characters? why arent chinese dictation carried out the english way? given that chinese characters are logograms, the purpose of testing students’ memory can likewise be achieved. why do we not use the same opportunity to sharpen students’ listening ability too? are any underlying assumptions about chinese language learning preventing chinese teachers from doing so? i suspect it is, for one, linked to the chinese’ belief of equating the ability to memorise as a virtue. but the larger question here is, how often do we revisit the purpose, or at a deeper level, our underlying assumptions about chinese language learning as we design our activities?

if i were a student, you really cant blame me for “liking” english lessons more than chinese lessons just by comparing the dictation activity alone. before we jump to the conclusion that it’s difficult to “interest” students to learn chinese, perhaps we should take time to reflect upon how we’re teaching the language, and the soundness of existing approaches. we could be a major culprit in ‘killing’ off the language though i doubt anyone would readily admit it.

the language task, in brief

copy-n-pasted this from the recent call-for-papers email sent by Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology.

The language task is a key concept in language teaching and learning grounded in the communicative approach (Ellis, 2003; Nunan, 1989). This task can be defined as “a coherent and coordinated activity […], interactive or not, comprising a management of meaning, a link to the real world and a defined outcome, and in which the pragmatic result takes precedence over language performance” (Narcy-Combes, 2006). The language task is especially relevant in the context of computer-assisted language learning (CALL), in which information and communication technologies (ICT) facilitate its use and, in particular, allow access to authentic language, interaction and language production. In this context, the aim is to design learning scenarios (Guichon, 2006; Mangenot & Louveau, 2006) made up of macro and micro e-tasks (Mangenot & Soubrié, 2010) that, ideally, provide learners with opportunities to actively practice skills, to engage with others in one’s own language learning and to develop language autonomy.

Credit: CJLT editors

any percentage is good (:

was reading sti and saw this article relating minister lui’s personal experience.

‘I know my tutors would rather (have me being) able to speak 70 per cent (of the time) in Mandarin and 30 per cent in English… than not to speak Mandarin at all because I’m too shy to do so,’ he said.

yes … even if it’s is 10%, or 5%, or 1% of the time is fine (yes some pple might argue about too low a percentage). the difficulty probably lies in the NEED to converse in the language. fundamentally language exists to facilitate communications. if one language is sufficient for my daily communication needs, finding reason(s) to self-generate the NEED to use another language is often difficult.