MYP Chinese Language and Literature class — News Theme
Language is the basis of learning, thinking and communication, which is deeply involved in the whole IB curriculum. The power of language can be best experienced through beautiful literature.
In MYP Language & Literature class, students can learn to appreciate the essence, power and beauty of language and literature.
In the classroom, teachers help students to realize that language competence is a valuable life skill and a powerful tool in social communication and personal reflection. Once they understand that language and literature are creative processes, students will be inspired to develop their imagination and creativity through self-expression.
What is IB’s “Chinese Language” class like? What is the difference between it and traditional Chinese classroom?
“Teacher, I’m not a journalist. Why do I need to learn news?”IB students always have such direct questions for the teacher.
How does a teacher answer such a question?
Language is life, life is language. Now that we are wrapped up in global information, we capture valuable information for ourselves and understand the world through one news event after another.
“Every IB student is a ‘media person’ in the new era. As a spokesman of the era, how can we ensure the authenticity of the information we see? How to turn the large amount of information you receive every day into a cornerstone that can be used to help you grow? Interpreting news themes is a good process.” Our Chinese teacher, Ms. Yue, works with students to interpret news in the way of “IB”. Through visualization, storytelling and thinking, she explores the structure and writing skills of news, and encourages students to have their own perspective of news interpretation and learn to deal with materials.
The second stage of journalism is understanding the nature of news writing.
In one particular lesson, Ms. Yue shared the homework of the last: after understanding the news structure (title, introduction, subject, background, conclusion) and the six elements, students were asked to come up with an apprpriate headline and an introduction according to the main content of the news.
In the assignments Ms. Yue received, she found that the students had mastered several commonly used ways of writing headlines. Some headlines deliberately shock, while others try to deliver the whole story in one sentence. Students can also now write short and meaningful introductions.
One Year 10 student, even wrote a doggerel for one of the news as the introduction; he is deeply influenced by traditional Chinese literature, and always has a unique interpretation of the text in class.
Headlines and introductions can help readers quickly grasp the core of the news. However, further expansion and elaboration is needed to really understand it. Ms. Yue selected several representative news articles, and guided the students to ask questions and find the details, discussing the background with them, as well as the author’s views in the subject in order to deepen the students’ understanding of news.
IB classrooms are inquiry classrooms. News is only a vehicle to assist teachers to guide growth in students’ thinking. Teachers constantly guide students to ask questions, to go deep, then ask more questions, so that they can analyze how news can be interpreted in the context of the times. This process not only engages students’ research and writing skills, but also allows students to express their own views and discover various angles behind news items.
What other ways can students think about news? Before class, Ms. Nancy Xu and Ms. Yue collected all kinds of news about society and current politics from all corners of the world, then cut them out and placed them on the table of each group.
Students worked as a team to combine them into a complete news picture. This simple action tested students’ ability to grasp the overall news structure.
“The students have done a good job; some news they have put together is even more logical than the original manuscript!”Ms. Yue said.