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Homepage Our People CISK Talk Ms. Jackie:Education is when one soul awakens another soul

Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential, the what is; and to awaken this capacity, in oneself and in others, is education.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti


The IB curriculum is recognized as the most difficult international curriculum in the world, and the Diploma Programme (DP) is notorious for its depth of syllabus coverage. However, CISK graduates have achieved an average IB score of 37 for the second year in a row, and the average score for Chinese A: Language and Literature of the school has been over 6 out of 7.


All of this would not be possible without a group of passionate teachers at CISK who enjoy teaching. They all graduated from prestigious universities at home and abroad and want to bring their expertise to students and growing together.




In this interview, we invited Ms. Jackie, who has been the Chinese teacher of MYP-DP, she joined CISK in 2018 and has rich teaching experience. 


She is passionate about literature and its ability to broaden our horizons and deepen our understanding of the world.


She is passionate about education, and believes that it can change the world. As Karl Theodor Jaspers said, “Education is one tree shaking another tree, one cloud to pushing forward another cloud, one soul awakening another soul.”





Jackie Ding


She currently teaches DP G11 Chinese A Literature, G12 Chinese B, and MYP G8 Chinese Language Acquisition.

After completing her Master's degree in Chinese International Education at Soochow University, she went to the United States to teach Chinese at Franklin High School in Portland as a volunteer teacher of the Chinese Confucius Institute of the Hanban.She joined CISK in 2018 and has three years of teaching experience in MYP G9 and G10 grades.

What is the difference between IB Chinese class and the traditional high school Chinese curriculum?  If a student is transferring from the traditional curriculum to IB, what should he/she do to prepare this transition? How can students make a better transition from MYP to DP? Let’s hear her answers.



What is the difference between IB Chinese class and the traditional high school Chinese curriculum in learning content and objectives?

Chinese studies are streamed in the DP. At CISK, we also have two courses available to choose – Chinese A Language and Literature and Chinese A Literature. In my opinion, there are real differences between IBDP Chinese and the public-school Chinese in terms of learning content and the ultimate goals. 


As DP learning is more of an active learning process, it favors the development of students' self-management skills and a "reflective" process.



Firstly, our teaching content is different


We no longer teach by textbooks as in traditional Chinese public schools. In the case of literature courses, we teach by viewing the works of writers from different regions, nationalities, and eras, and the works are selected across three domains-author, reader and text; time and space; and intertextuality


Our teaching content is comprised of a collection of poems, a collection of essays, a short or long novel, and a play, which reflects more intensively the creative style of the writer and the style of an era.



Secondly, our teaching focus is different 


DP Chinese focuses on students' "personal understanding" of the text along with their own justification, while we also focus on the presentation of a thousand "Hamlets" in the eyes of a thousand students, allowing and to a certain extent appreciating students' "individuality.” We allow and appreciate students' "unique" interpretations to a certain extent.


In terms of character analysis, we will not only analyze the traits of the characters, but also the reasons behind the character's traits are equally important, to "know what is true in order to know why it is true", and the development of critical thinking will be woven throughout the DP learning process.


Thirdly,teaching and learning are integrated with literary concepts  


DP Chinese study is an in-depth study of some major concepts through these works which leads us to find the lens to view the work. These concepts lead us to find the entrance of the work, help students to look at the work from multiple perspectives, and complete a high-level course essay.


For example, one of the seven major concepts of literature in DP is "Identity." When we study Eileen Chang's "Love in a Fallen City" we ask ourselves, how does Eileen's personal experience and the context of her time relate to the author's work?


Fourthly, the teaching of the work is closely related to global issues. 



The learning process of DP Chinese requires students to have the ability to perceive global issues keenly. The work is not limited to the work itself, the time period, or the region, but it places "common" issues in the global context.


In such "common" issues, students often have their own personal reflections and deep feelings about the world around them, thus mobilizing their internal drive to "transform" the world and make them lifelong learners with an international mindset.



If a student is transferring from the traditional curriculum to IB, what should he/she do to prepare this transition?


The establishment of critical thinking 


"There are no two identical leaves in the world", do not habitually become "one", but bravely become "the first".


The connection between text to text


"One life gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, three gives birth to everything." Classic works will cross the region and era and will be a more complete link after the connection of one point to another, they will complement each other and enhance each other.


The cultivation of international mindedness


"An inch of mountain and river and a twist of earth remind me of the society and the king." Literature begins with reflecting upon the world, and the text makes your interpretation of the "world" more complete, while ending with returning to the world, allowing you to take care of and reflect on the "gaps" in the world.



What should students prepare when facing transition from MYP Chinese 

to DP Chinese class?



MYP is the preparation period of DP and at the same time the expansion period of PYP. MYP Chinese bears the double burden of continuation and deepening of knowledge. Here, I will mainly focus on the study of Chinese literature in MYP upper grades 9 and 10 for the sake of simplicity.



Purposeful and relevant reading


If the previous reading is extensive and rich, then in G9 and G10 students should read the classics in depth in a targeted manner, and in the process of reading, they should consciously grasp the text as a whole and make effective connections.


 "No one is an island, everyone is a part of the continent as a whole", learn to find the commonality and individuality between texts in "correlation" and "comparison".  Keep Harmony in Diversity.



Learn to appreciate "keeping harmony in diversity" and let understanding grow compassion. 


"Be merciful, because of understanding." In the process of reading, we should improve students' empathy and enrich their perspective as a "seeker". There is no absolute "good" and thorough "evil", behind every piece of sunshine there is bound to be a shadow, behind the behavior and psychology of the characters is a deep-seated reason for the formation of the work. Likewise, the end of the event is not everything, the process and path of occurrence is worthy of our deep thinking as well.


Be faithful to your own feelings, and be good at expressing oneself with reason and evidence. 



Whether writing or reading, be brave and good at expressing your thoughts and feelings. This expression can be a rational analysis, and it can also be a kind of emotional cognition. But in the process of expressing your viewpoint, let these thoughts and feelings be supported with evidence. Students should learn that appreciating the literary work is not only based on purely emotional expression. It also needs strong support from the text and even background information to justify your claims.


Develop a keen awareness of language.


Students need to be sensitive not only to the information conveyed by language, but also to the language itself during the reading or writing process. What kind of figurative language, expressions, and rhetorical techniques are used in the reading process of the work? What effect do they have on the language of the work? How to make good use of these language skills in creative writing? These are all questions that students in the upper grades of MYP should think about.



As she said, the IB curriculum is also every inch of the soil beneath our feet, nourishing the teachers and students on this land and nurturing a number of outstanding CISK students. We will invite Ms. Vero to explain the Chinese curriculum of PYP and MYP in depth, so stay tuned!



Editor Jackie & Yerin

Credit to Hanna


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