Virtual teaching and Mandarin

Learn Chinese graphic

Could Virtual Teaching revolutionise Mandarin learning?

Given the vital daily role that technology plays in the modern world, it should come as no surprise that new approaches to teaching are developing more rapidly than ever.

As a teacher I can honestly say, not a moment too soon! Educational technologies have been around for a while of course. However, for various reasons many schools have always been relatively slow in adopting them.

The thing is, technology can be so useful in addressing the issues faced in education. Especially in improving accessibility for foundation subjects where expertise sometimes isn’t so easy to find in one physical area.

In the near future, I don’t doubt that the most common marriage of education with technology will be teaching online.

Mandarin virtual teaching

What is Virtual Teaching?

Virtual Teaching means using online classroom environments where teachers and students do not necessarily have to be in the same room. The biggest current users of such software at the moment are universities for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The largest of these have millions of registered users worldwide.

However, the potential for education goes far beyond higher education. Already in the UK people have used virtual classrooms to successfully teach GCSE Astronomy, provide support for maths teaching, and teach students who don’t attend brick and mortar schools.

From this year, there is even the possibility of students taking a “virtual” A Level in Spanish.

Languages is certainly one area where Virtual Teaching is really going to excel in education. The ability to teach excellence in languages regardless of geographical location is truly exciting!

Teaching Mandarin on an iPad

Language through technology

It is no secret that the biggest difficulty in teaching and studying a language is that of exposure to fluent speakers. Sure, students can “top up” their learning through watching films or listening to music. However, this isn’t a replacement for being able to converse with another person.

As stated above, Virtual Teaching through laptops and other devices removes the need for teachers and students to be in the same place. This allows a new ease of access for learners to this crucial skill of speaking with fluent language speaker.

However, this is not the only advantage of Virtual Teaching classrooms. Each student is also physically brought into their own speaking and listening environment by putting on a pair of headphones. Students can break off from the main classroom and converse with the teacher and their peers. This removes the distracting background chatter of a physical classroom.

Here at Dragons we’re convinced that Virtual Teaching is the next step in the evolution of education. Want to get involved? Why not contact us today!