Evaluating the research provided in the snapshots, we can come to a number of conclusions.
- Chinese ELLs are able to transfer some syntactic knowledge between Chinese and English, specifically regarding compounding
- Morphological understanding can be developed by extending students' understanding of compounding in Chinese and English
- Chinese ELLs are more attuned to orthography (the look of the word) than phonology (the sound that letters make) in their reading
- Chinese English language learners are less developed regarding grapheme to phoneme manipulation than learners coming from alphabetical background
- Teaching orthography and focusing on different aspects of words, and how they join together can facilitate transfer between Chinese and English
- Focusing on spelling and the way words are formed can be an effective method for developing reading comprehension, especially considering cultural emphasis on writing, and copying
- Chinese tonal awareness helps students to differentiate between words, and can contribute to prosidy in Chinese learners
- Allowing opportunity for learners to practice stress, emphasis and prosody can be an effective way to develop English reading skill and comprehension
How can this apply to OCA Suzhou?
OCA Suzhou classes have the advantage of both English and Chinese homeroom teachers. Because we have been able to identify some mechanisms of transfer between English and Chinese, specifically regarding syntax, morphology, and stress intonations, programs that develop these mutual skills could prove valuable across the board.
Some possible implementation strategies:
- Repeated reading and poetry programs in both languages
- Emphasizing pinyin use (especially digital typing) to develop concepts of phonology and how they relate to alphabets
- Explicit and co-ordinated instruction on morphology in both subjects. Teachers should work to find similarities between English and Chinese, so as to facilitate the transfer
- English teachers should focus on tone, stress, and emphasis to help facilitate transfer between Chinese and English
- Communicate with other teachers at OCA Suzhou and develop a core KMb team.
- Identify specific focuses to try and implement in the classroom, expected outcomes, and measurable, quantitative observations
- Develop a roll-out plan, and a program design
- Organize regular meetings and an implementation schedule