To instill preschool children’s interest in the Chinese language and encourage further learning, teachers often have to go the extra mile with novel hands-on activities.

For Yin Jing, a K1 Chinese language teacher at Kiddiwinkie SchoolHouse@Novena, introducing tea ceremony and calligraphy to her children has helped them to better understand Chinese culture and sustain their interest in learning the language.

Ms Yin has been a preschool Chinese language teacher for the last five years. Last February (2018), she graduated with the WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Chinese) from KLCII.

Ms Yin graduated with the WSQ Professional Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education (Chinese) from KLCII in early 2018.

A Chinese calligraphy enthusiast, Ms Yin says most of the children in her class are now able to hold the brush correctly and write simple characters. To help the children further cultivate friendship, virtue and etiquette, she has personally bought some tea sets and taught the children how to make tea and appreciate the aroma and taste.

“The simple tea ceremony evoked a lot of curiosity and questions from the children who were very keen to try their hands at it,” said Ms Yin.

It is said that the tea ceremony helps to cultivate patience, refresh the mind and promote clear thinking.

Ms Yin in a show-and-tell session with the children

Ms Yin says her training at KLCII has helped her to be more open and exploratory in her approach to teaching Chinese language. She says she will continue to introduce other Chinese cultural facets into her classroom to sustain learning interest. She feels that the activities help to preserve traditional values in the face of the increasing use of technology in education.

Fully committed to the holistic development of the children, she believes it should begin with acquiring good habits in learning, hygiene, eating, and communicating (both listening and speaking). She says good habits help to form the foundation for their character development and for success in the future.

To do that, Ms Yin has promised herself to take advantage of professional development opportunities to refresh and increase her skills and knowledge base, so that she can do more for them.

“I believe that we should continue to learn as we age and it’s never too old to learn,” she said.

Kiddiwinkie SchoolHouse has nominated Ms Yin for the Outstanding Mother Tongue Language Teacher Award 2019 that is supported by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC).