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In the seminar, Vivek mentioned that he could barely understand Cantonese and felt difficult to communicate with others in Cantonese when he first studied in a local Chinese Primary school. His parents did not speak Cantonese. He came from a Cantonese-free home environment, so he hardly had chance to learn Cantonese when compared with his classmates. The language environment became one of the major barriers for him to learn the language.
Under these circumstances, he realised that a positive learning environment is very important for him to learn a new language. He found that it is more effective to learn language in a real-life context rather than having extra textbooks, classes or tutorials. Thus, in order not to be isolated from other students, Vivek joined various kinds of school activities, such as the music club, drama club, just to name a few, in which he had more chances to make friends and practise Cantonese with his classmates. These kinds of social activities enabled him to be accepted in the mainstream learning environment. This would be the most effective way for him to master the language.
Vivek used a metaphor to bring his sharing to a close, “some people learn a musical instrument might not merely be confined to learning music but to master an eye-hand-coordination, rhythm, musical timing as well as self-expression. In this way, the motive of learning is different from one person to another. Similarly, the motive which drives me to learn Chinese is that this language is more than just a new language as it enables me to have more choices in life.”
In short, Vivek has the following teaching tips for teachers to motivate NCS students:
1. Communicate with the NCS students in Cantonese frequently
2. Motivate their learning with some successful stories and cases
3. Improve students reticence by creating a positive and encouraging classroom environment for them to ask questions
4. Encourage team work and mutual support
If you would like to have further details of this article, please contact Miss Fanny Leung at firstname.lastname@example.org
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教學中心於二零一四年五月九日舉辦了「非本地華語人士學習中文的經驗分享會」。講者Mr Vivek Mahbubani (Vivek) 是一位在香港土生土長、能操流利粵語的印度裔人士。他分享自己從兒時到青少年時期如何在自身的文化、環境和生活習慣影響下學習中文的經歷，並訴說他如何成功克服學習障礙，積極學好中文的過程。