A Chinese A-Level student was withdrawn from all class activity. Questions were either not answered or responded to with just a nod or shake of the head or, at best, singular word answers. Teachers struggled to communication with him and were unable to gauge if he understood the learning.
What We Discovered
Following two sessions of informal discussion with the student, we found that, whilst highly intelligent, the student lacked confidence. This resulted in a reluctance to use English with a concern that they wouldn’t be understood, or others would laugh at him.
A plan was put in place; alongside further EAL support by the school, the student was encouraged to leave daily English language voicemails for us for review and reply to. This continued for ten weeks with Bridge Chinese Student Support’s Director Airiel Lin replying to the diary-like message, outlining the students daily life. Initially encouragement was given to build confidence before we moved on to correcting English pronunciation, grammar etc.
The student fed back that he felt that both his confidence and English ability quickly improved. Teachers reported that he was much more responsive in lessons and he even went on to organise an event in school to celebrate a Chinese festival.