One of five recipients of the President’s Award for Teachers this year, Miss Sim Lucy, shares on her efforts to spark students’ interest in their Mother Tongue Language. The award recognises caring and nurturing teachers dedicated to the holistic development of students.
How do we interest our children in learning their Mother Tongue Languages in an environment where English is predominantly used? This is a daily challenge for teachers like Miss Sim Lucy, Lead Teacher (Chinese Language) at Guangyang Primary School.
“Nowadays, many families only speak English at home… I was motivated to create innovative teaching and learning strategies to ignite my students’ interest in the learning of the Chinese Language,” said Miss Sim.
During her lessons, students would be up on their feet, using hand actions to write Chinese characters. For example, a punch would represent a dot, and a raised hand would represent a vertical stroke. This method, known as “Chinese Character Aerobics”, was developed by Miss Sim, together with three other Chinese Language teachers.
“I never thought Chinese lesson could be like PE lessons,” said a student, Kelly Chen.
Observing the interest of students and their ability to write many more Chinese characters through this method, Miss Sim and her team shared it with other schools and even with overseas educators in Kunming and Chengdu, China.
Miss Sim also shared how a student who was facing difficulties at home and with her studies failed her Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and had to repeat the school year. Though she was offered Foundation Chinese+, Miss Sim saw potential and spent extra time coaching her in the subject.
When the student received her PSLE results the following year, the tears that flowed were those of joy as she made it to secondary school!
“I believe that education involves much more than just imparting knowledge. It demands that teachers go that extra mile to care for the child,” said Miss Sim.
For Miss Sim’s commitment to helping students reach their fullest potential, she received the President’s Award for Teachers 2014.
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Read the other inspiring stories of winners and finalists of the President Award for Teachers.
+Subject-based banding which provides greater flexibility for students by offering the option of a combination of standard and foundation subjects, depending on their strengths. Foundation subjects focus on building up the fundamentals.