Teacher Tuesday – Ms Jowene Chia
With Chinese New Year approaching at the end of this week, we spoke to one of our Mandarin teachers – Ms Jowene Chia – in Teacher Tuesday:
How many years have you been teaching?
3 years and counting.
When did you join KIS?
August 2016, when Mandarin was first introduced at KIS as a core curriculum subject.
Use three words to describe your first impressions of KIS
Unity. Diversity. Creativity.
Why do you teach?
To see young people not just taught but be educated in a way that is more than just academic; that develops wholistic and wholesome individuals.
What is your favourite classroom resource and why?
Compared to my personal education and upbringing, I think the students and teachers both benefit greatly from the flexibility of the classroom set up. We can adapt the layout of the furniture in the room to be the most appropriate for the age group or lesson that we are teaching. I find this makes for a more conducive and more effective teaching experience.
The Mandarin Department held a very informative Chinese New Year assembly yesterday, what was your favourite part?
To see participation of the students during the dance-along CNY Whoopee song, which was led by 12 Year 5 & Year 6 students who had learnt the song and dance moves.
Mandarin can be a tricky language to learn, what advice would you give to our students to help them in their Mandarin studies?
Practice makes perfect. Stay passionate, be purposeful and understand the “why” before the “what”. Look further into the future benefits of being Chinese-literate – the future is yours! After all, nearly 1 in every 3 of the population are Chinese.
How do you stream students in their Mandarin lessons?
Mandarin is currently a core curriculum subject from Foundation 2 to Year 7. At the start of this academic year we introduced a new structure to better cater for the abilities and potential of our students and to improve the subject’s alignment with the Mandarin IGCSE programme. All students are now placed in either the Mandarin as a Second Language or Mandarin as a Foreign Language class. From August 2018, Mandarin will roll out to include Year 8 and these students will be working towards the option of taking IGCSE Mandarin in four years’ time. Mandarin at KIS is not only taught with passion and excitement, but also with a crucial understanding of its value for our students in the future.
Tell us a little known fact about you?
I cannot eat onion and garlic. It is not a choice; I received my allergies from mom.
What do you like doing in KK when you’re not working?
I organise events, play music (and sometimes act as the Music Director in church), play badminton weekly, while also finding opportunities to connect with people from different walks of life.