Dual Language Schools: Teacher(s) of the MonthFebruary Dual Language Teacher of the Month Yunchi He, Texas Garland Elementary School!

02/2019
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Image for: February Dual Language Teacher of the Month Yunchi He, Texas Garland Elementary School!

My favorite part of being a teacher is when I see students making progress and succeed after their hard work, especially when some student overcome the impossible. I must admit that I feel a degree of satisfaction when I see my students seeking me in order to learn more. It is so rewarding to see students become confident and comfortable in using the language they just learned. I was fortunate to become a member of the big family.

Yunchi has also been a catalyst within the community for language acquisition. She was a member of the TLAC (Teach Like a Champion) Committee in their school district, which is a pilot program on researching the best teaching strategies to use in the classroom and how to apply them. She utilizes her research in the classroom, implementing several very effective strategies like Cold Call, positive framing and TPR into her classroom. Students are highly engaged and active in class, allowing them to be both confident but challenged as well. They are not only able to speak the language but also create thoughts using critical thinking. They also are beginning to think in Chinese instead of translating into their first language, getting an answer, and then translating back into Chinese.

Yunchi believes her students have been so successful because of the classroom environment she creates. Students are allowed to make mistakes when using the language. She encourages every student to make their best effort, and try to actively participate. There is a safe and respectful atmosphere in the class which transforms into a close relationship between Yunchi and her students.

Prioritizing creavitity is also a strategy that has allowed Yunchi to be successful with her students. One project that she believes is very helpful in her student's learning is one where she assigns students a certain topic and asks them to use their own knowledge and resources from the internet or library to create a project. They have to work in groups and come up with a finished product with information and images that cover different aspects of the topic. Then, they present their project in class and teach each other the information they have researched. This allows them to work together and use the language in many facets.

She also celebrates culture and implements authentic biliteracy development by involving them in Lunar New Year performance and Chinese Bee to showcase their Chinese language skills and understanding of the culture. She encourages students to use the language to communicate and attend community events and activities that feature Chinese art and culture in order to prepare themselves for the real world.

I think the ultimate goal of language learning is to be able to communicate in the real-world setting. My students are imaginative, inquisitive and creative. They have the thirst for knowledge and always hunger for more.

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