Children are singing Chinese in the playground and are teaching the language to their parents and siblings thanks to an innovative teacher who has transformed how the subject is delivered at a Gold Coast school.
Daniel Chen’s captivating lessons, which include singing to children with his guitar and using puppets, technology, games, video and humour, has seen a boost in the content that children are learning at Saint Stephen’s College.
The former high school teacher has written an entire new curriculum for Prep to Year 6 and is continually honing his practice by visiting other teachers’ classrooms to observe how they engage students.
Daniel created an original video series on YouTube called ‘Speakin’ Chinese So Easy!’ to help his students learn and remember Chinese phrases in fun, quick and easy way (see one of Daniel’s videos below).
Saint Stephen’s College teacher Katrina Riley says that through his interactive lessons, Daniel has managed to excite students who had disengaged from learning Chinese in the past.
“Daniel is a very humble person; however, his innovation in lessons is outstanding,” Katrina says.
“One example was when he was absent from class, so he made a video of his lesson, explaining to the kids that he was ‘stuck’ in the whiteboard and had to teach from there today,” she says.
“The kids loved it and were engaged the whole time and can remember everything that happened during that lesson.
“I have witnessed Daniel’s curriculum content and knowledge first-hand, and can confidently say that he has taught our youngest students two to three years’ worth of Chinese in the past seven months.
“Daniel has fuelled success in our Chinese program in the Junior School.”
Daniel’s drive for continuous improvement has also seen him engage with language teachers from other schools to see how he can further develop the college’s new secondary program for 2020.
The Prep to Year 6 teacher has attended a high school camp to help new Chinese students and is heavily involved in cultural activities at the College.
His enthusiasm, expertise in delivering engaging content, and dedication to providing the school with a successful language program have inspired all of his colleagues, including his Principal, who nominated him for the Australian Education Awards in the Education Rising Star of the Year category.
Congratulations Daniel on your nomination.