Action Research

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pepperdine university

xing king


 

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Activities:

I designed a project for Chinese IV students to engage in the student-centered learning where students taught themselves. My role in this project was to facilitate student's learning. I divided the class into small learning circles, and each learning circles designed its lesson plans/big ideas, created its timeline, made rubrics for assessment, and prepared the lessons that they would teach their classmates.

The learning circles then took turn to teach the lessons. Each circle employed a unique, creative, and efficient way of teaching. They not only wanted to make sure that their classmates received a deep understanding of the materials, but also they liked to see the classmates to learn in a fun and interactive way. They used various games for learning the vocabulary. Of all activities, a popular one was the "quick takes" that one group did to help their classmates learn the new vocabulary by connecting the student's prior knowledge with the new learning. This was a fast paced series of questions that tested the ability of each student to know the Chinese words without even having to think about it. They also played a flashcards vocabulary game in which the students were asked to match their flashcards with the corresponding cards that they had laid out on the floor. This tested the students' ability to recognize the Chinese characters, and it also gave them practice in writing the characters as they each made their own set of flashcards.

 

Some learning circles integrated the use of PowerPoint into their actual teaching. Other groups used video technology as a tool for their lesson preparation and teaching.

Chinese IV students did not take final exams. Instead, they had written proficiency exercises in which they not only examined their learning processes, but also inquired their own understanding of the learning materials. They initiated a new activity - Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) as our language assessment this semester. I also asked them to write reflections in their blogs on all major activities.

Another interesting activity that all of my students participated in was to build good rapports with their e-pals in China. They have exchanged emails with their Chinese friends, and some sent to each other pictures. Some students designed virtual gifts using technologies to introduce the American culture to their e-pals before the Christmas holiday. The purpose of this activity was to learn the language and culture from the native speakers.

Students then made portfolios of their first semester reflecting upon their various projects and learning. Emphasis was placed on reflection. Students had to be specific and look at the rubrics for each assignment as they thought about their work. I also examined the portfolios for evidence of meta cognition.