As language learners, we all know that first impression counts. Whether it means saying ‘hello’ to a new acquaintance or writing your first paragraph of your essay, how you introduce yourself (or your voice in writing) matters. In this constantly spinning world that is unfortunately ‘spinning’ faster than ever – thanks to the plethora of information we are exposed to on a daily basis, attention spans are getting shorter and patience is running thinner.
So my first post is all about making a stand. I have been teaching for close to 10 years, starting from my army days. Looking back, it was all about doing another part time “job” to pay the bills and support my entertainment expenses as a fledging young man who is still making sense of my pair of “wings” – my new found sense of freedom. After all, I consider myself a young adult, having moved away from mandatory primary school education and completed both my secondary and Junior College courses.
I turned to teaching as a tutor because I thought it was something I could do. As an Arts major, I have always been inspired by the magic surrounding language and literature. I would find myself dabbling in fields of Arts, drama and music, and am still enlightened by these aspects even till today.
I come from a Mandarin speaking family background and grew up conversing with my folks and siblings in Chinese at home. Of course, the daily Hokkien conversations between my mum and dad added vocabulary to my Hokkien literacy, though I seldom speak the dialect. I am fascinated by the beauty of languages and how they serve their purpose in this world.
Anson’s Bilingual Classroom is founded with a few purposes in mind. While English is our official language in Singapore, I find that a lot of local students are learning it just for their exam grades. In fact, they fail to see that language learning is a lifelong commitment! As such, I hope to help develop their potential by showing them what works and what don’t.
Next, I am proud of my heritage as a Chinese and would like to spread this further. As an educator, I am here to debunk the myths surrounding Chinese learning. A lot of kids grow up hating the language, some even complaining that reading Chinese give them headaches. Many do not know that we are speaking the tongue originating from a fast-rising dragon – China, and that the pervasiveness of the Chinese market is taking the world by storm.
I have had foreign students with no Chinese backgrounds wanting to learn the language. Their parents know best why it is imperative to do so in today’s context. Parents look for me due to my versatility to teach both languages, and more importantly for the foreign students – to be able to explain Chinese terms using English, and vice versa.
My classes are all about engagement and interactivity. I always believe that learning is a two-way process. By injecting fun elements into learning like word games and simple poetry and songwriting, I seek to nurture and inspire the next batch of learners through fun and impressionable exercises.
I am elated to know that many students whom I have taught had managed to achieve their desired grades, and some whom have even gone on to pursue finer things in life. It is my hope to create long-lasting bonds with my students.
There is always a first to everything. The challenge is to make it last. I look forward to inspiring new lives through language usage and appreciation, and welcome any feedback in the process. With that, I hope I have made my stand.
Anson is a full-time language tutor and he can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or his mobile at 97887232.