MIT Lecturer Min-Min Liang has gained the 2023 MAFLT LCTL Innovation Award within the Classroom Innovation class, provided by the Nationwide Much less Generally Taught Languages (LCTL) Useful resource Middle at Michigan State College. Liang has taught Chinese language at MIT for over 20 years as a part of the World Languages unit.
In making the award notification, the committee famous: “Your innovation stood out to the committee due to the methods your mission allowed college students to interact meaningfully each with the inventive course of in addition to the intersection between language and id. Nicely completed!”
Liang gained the award for her classroom unit during which Chinese language heritage language college students are requested to discover the that means of their Chinese language names and create an internet e-book primarily based on what they uncover.
Regardless of rising up talking some Chinese language within the residence, many heritage language learners might not have fluent language abilities, and will not know the that means of their names or the best way to correctly write them in Chinese language characters. Liang asks college students, “Are you able to show the best way to write every character in your identify? What’s the that means of every character? Why did your mother and father select this identify? What’s the origin of your final identify?” College students use numerous sources like dictionaries. However she additionally encourages them to debate these questions with their mother and father.
Liang explains, “Understanding the that means of your identify is a approach to make studying Chinese language characters significant and related to college students’ life experiences. However I additionally needed to design a mission that’s interactive and student-centered, whereas reinforcing college students’ abilities.”
Liang found an internet platform, Ebook Creator, that was the proper device to interact college students on this mission. Every scholar creates their very own on-line e-book exploring the that means of their names. The books are styled and adorned by the scholars and may incorporate audio clips, vocabulary lists, graphics, photos, hyperlinks, and extra.
After the books are created, Liang assigns college students within the class to every have a look at two different college students’ books. “College students learn the web books after which depart suggestions in Chinese language about what they favored concerning the e-book, and what they realized. That is adopted by class discussions. Every scholar will share the 2 books they learn with the classmates within the assigned group in school. On this manner, the entire mission has turn out to be very interactive. It begins with writing and studying abilities and closes with talking and listening abilities. Additionally it is college students instructing college students, and it provides college students a whole lot of autonomy.”
College students steadily remark that they particularly like studying extra about their Chinese language heritage: speaking to their mother and father about their names, and sharing their books with relations.
Requested about her personal identify, Liang replied: “My first identify is Min-Min, which implies delicate and sensible. So this can be a dad or mum’s hope! We discuss in school about why your mother and father identify you — it’s their hopes and expectations.“
The award shall be offered on the twenty seventh annual convention of the Nationwide Council of Much less Generally Taught Languages in Chicago, April 21-23.