Hello! I teach Chinese at 2 schools in the USA. At one school, I'm developing a Chinese program which will eventually be for 5th through 8th grades. It's in its 2nd year, and I teach a 6th grade and a 5th grade class. I also have a before-school class twice a week at a girls' high school. I've taught adults in small groups before teaching in schools. I love it!
I've used ChinesePod for my own study, and I've used clips in class (audio and recently, video). Nothing printed: like the previous teacher Theresa, I also figured that was a copyright issue.
I do not feel that all the content ChinesePod has is appropriate for my students (ex: saucy introductions to lessons about naked photos, not what I want 11-year-olds thinking about in class -- or me either). As a school our policy about the Internet is also more protective than to encourage students to get accounts and post on a place like ChinesePod, though the students use the Internet for research, etc. Our school blocks sites like Facebook, for example. If there were a way to limit students to just one lesson with access to the audio, exercises and practice stuff, and block the "Discussion" section, I'd probably be able to use it with the middle school kids. The high schoolers would be okay here, and I've recommended it to them but not used it in class.
One teaching issue in using ChinesePod materials would be that it introduces more/different vocabulary than the text, and therefore seems more suited to extra/advanced work for students ready for a little more study. It would be a good addition to curriculum in that way, but again I have understood copyright issues come into play. How does that work?
And Theresa, thanks for mentioning your textbook series from Australia. I use KuaiLe HanYu for everyone, but expect them to read characters without pinyin (and expect the high schoolers to read & write all the characters). I'm interested in finding NiHao!
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