Learning Chinese can be difficult for many children, and it is even more so for those who struggle with a learning difficulty. Children with dyslexia face a different set of challenges when learning the Chinese language. Often times, they also have to deal with social-emotional issues that come with learning the language, since it can be frustrating for not being able achieve in this language no matter how hard they try.
To empower these children to move forward, it is important to set goals in the Chinese classroom. At the beginning of every school term, I would ask my students to set the goals that they want to achieve within the year. The goals may be the grades that they want to obtain for PSLE or the number of Chinese books they wish to finish reading within the year. It can also be as simple as how many hours in a day that they want to practise speaking in Mandarin or how many Chinese words that they want to learn in a week.
Once they are done, I would request them to paste their goals neatly on the classroom wall. This is to ensure that they are reminded of their goals each time they come for classes, and remain motivated to achieve them. At the end of a school term, I would ask my students to review on their goals, to see if these goals are still relevant to their current needs and wants, and if there is need to change the way to achieve them. This helps them to remain focus on obtaining their goals, and also build on their resilience in the face of adversities.
The ability to set goals can also be taught at home and in school, so that any learners of the Chinese language can endeavour and harvest the fruits of their own persistence to improve their grasp of the language. Parents and educators who are interested to learn more about goal-setting can refer to my past blog article, “Ready… Get set… Goal! – How setting GOALS can motivate us”. This article talks about four research-based steps to help any children set effective goals, and remain motivated in the process.
Having the ability to set goals is beneficial for any learners of the Chinese language. Both parents and teachers can teach them to set goals and give appropriate guidance in their pursuit of success in the language. At the same time, these skills will also transcend into other aspects of their lives in future and build up their confidence when faced with challenges.