A popular Chinese proverb goes , Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Involve me and I will Understand.
According to VARK model, learners are categorized into 4 groups, which are:
” Auditory learners
” Writing/ reading learners
” Kinesthetic learners
” Visual learners
All young children can be grouped in Kinesthetic learners because they understand best when they watch a live demonstration. It is
common to teach young children rhymes and poems with gestures. Many teachers also incorporate voice intonation and dramatics during
story time to keep the listens hooked on.
Chinese Speech and drama class Singapore explores the importance of teaching Chinese through drama:
” Ability to solve problems with creativity: Drama is powerful tool which challenges a student s perception of themselves and the
world around them. Drama sets a safe stage for the child to express their feelings, dreams and thoughts which they cannot, otherwise.
For a brief moment, a student puts on a faade of a complete stranger. Such a liberated experience allows them to be whoever they wish to be.
A shy child will transform into the skin of a stern emperor when immersed in that part. Over time, a child develops the ability to solve problems by looking
at it from a different perspective. Start off by assigning simple plays in Chinese with a few lines for each child. Watch them bloom into confident speakers
as they take on more exercises.
” Improved Communication: Learning during young age is through repetition. When each child is given a limited number of lines, they not only learn their
own lines, but also understand the cues from a speaker before or after their turn. They end up learning most lines apart from their own. Memorizing the lines
improves understanding of the language. Drama is the ideal platform to improve communication in today s technologically merged world.
” Collaborative learning: Children fare better when they learn as a group. Teaching young children is effective when they have company. When in a group,
they lean on each other emotionally to create a symbiotic environment. Children within a group help each other learn. Sometimes, a child understands best when
a concept is explained by another child. Learning Mandarin Chinese becomes easy when the children in the group are each give a line to memorize. They will invariably
collaborate and co-ordinate to ensure that each child completes the given task. The task given is completed only when all the children in the group are successful
in their roles. There is no other learning form which is more collaborative than drama.
” Active learning: Active learning is fulfilled through empathetic understanding and kinesthetics. Making students enact a play is more than putting up a
show: it subtly influences the child to empathize with any given character leading to a deeper understanding of the topic. Information retention is improved when
understanding is deepened. Children who are learning Chinese through drama can also be taught portions of other subjects through enactment.
” Hone confidence: An attempt of learning a new language is successful when the child is confident while communicating. Drama instills confidence in
children and removes stage fright. It is OK for children to make mistakes while learning, what is important is the confidence with which they deliver.
Having understood the importance and efficiency of learning Chinese through drama, start today by assigning each child in class one or two lines to deliver.
As they grow confident and learn more words, the number of lines can be increased. Within no time, the child will develop fluency in the language and speak without any hesitations.