Unlike the past couple of months where casual conversation filled most of our class time, this month has been filled with a lot more task based learning strategies; or learning by doing. Similar to my own classes at NTNU, I had my student create a 大綱 outlining what she wants to cover in this presentation and why. The outline was all done in Chinese, and we have been slowly expanding the idea into something bigger during every class. The goal isn't to turn her presentation into something it isn't, which is why she is basically writing the entire thing herself. I feel like my mantra for this project is "the easier the better" in regards to what she is trying to say in Chinese. While I've suggested some useful grammar patterns and vocabulary along the way, this is totally her project. Like my own classes I've been taking online, my role is more to make sure that what she is saying simply works and makes sense in Chinese more than anything.
While this might not be the best way to acquire new vocabulary or sentence patterns (expect in specific scenarios) I feel that it is a much better representation of what my student has actually accomplished during her time here in Taiwan. Not only in Chinese class, but in life in general. The coolest thing about this for me, as a teacher, is simply that I get to help her figure out the best way to tell that amazing story to others. I don't expect her to sound like 大山, especially given all the things she does in Taiwan that simply can't have a Chinese focus, but I do know that after we finish working on this project together she will be understood... and for second language learners that goal needs to come first.