Professional Learning

Creative Chinese organizes conferences, workshops, training sessions, and e-learning for teachers, school heads, and organizations. A complete list of these, along with details and online registration, can be found in our Calendar of Professional Learning events.

Our Mission

The mission of Creative Chinese is to build and sustain a vibrant and professional development network. By offering relevant, timely, engaging professional development opportunities, we strive to create a culture of professional growth that acts as the foundation for teaching, learning, and collaboration in all schools teaching Chinese.

Current Workshops

Create Fluent Readers in the Language Classroom
Explore Reader Workshop model of teaching and learn how to ensure fluency in students of Chinese. Practical examples will be explored of how vocabulary, reading for meaning and decoding high frequency characters will ‘super charge’ your student’s comprehension skills. This session will center on these three micro-skills and teachers will be invited to brainstorm ways they can be implemented into their Chinese language curriculum.
Day One: Start Journal Writing
Students become better writers by writing and getting feedback about their writing. This session is an introduction to Journal Writing and includes simple steps on how to start your own Journal writing routine from day one. Journals encourage ‘writing to learn’ which is based on the assumption that students’ thoughts and understanding can grow and clarify through the process of writing. Participants will examine ways to integrate Journal writing into the fabric of the Chinese language course and make regular and frequent use of a journal in class.
The Immersive Classroom - Building Fluent Speakers
Current research indicates that good language teachers use the target language almost exclusively in lessons. We will view examples of how teachers use comprehensible input to immerse students in the Chinese language. Over time, the fluency, accuracy and spontaneous use of language by students, develop rapidly. This immersive classroom approach makes meaning clear through body language, gestures and visual support. We will explore how we can plan and use the meaningful target language in daily lessons.
Teacher-tested Tips For Classroom Management
The strategies teachers use to create an environment that supports and facilitates learning is essential for success. This session is a practical examination of our expectations, our procedures, and engagement techniques that are the foundation of any effective language program. Participants will work in small groups to share and plan their top tips for creating positive learning environments for the new school year.
Students As Translators
Teaching translation skills is a useful method for students to use ‘code-switching’ that strengthens grammar and vocabulary development. But traditional translation exercises are seen as boring and repetitive by students, so we will look at how we can engage students in the role of being a translator. Translation tasks that resemble real-life activities will be shared and in small groups, teachers will devise activities that call on students to take on the role of translator in the classroom.
Bring The World Into your classroom with Authentic Materials
Students learning Chinese need to know that there are lots of cool situations where they will use the language. For this session, we will put aside textbooks and use authentic materials as a starting point to plan units of work that are both meaningful and engaging. Participants in small groups will be given authentic materials as a starting point in brainstorming a unit of work.
Learning Stations in your Language Classroom
Learning Stations are areas of the classroom where students rotate after working on independent and self-directed learning activities. At each station, students practice skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking and comprehension. This session will introduce teachers (through hands-on activities) to student roles so they can experience how Learning Stations can be set up and be effective in the language classroom.
Snapshots, Selfies and DIgital Portfolios
This session will explore how technology can be harnessed to document the student’s journey of learning the Chinese language. Ongoing reflection on student’s progress and feedback is essential for effective learning of any language. Technology empowers students to independently document their learning and provides an audience for their work—their peers, parents, or the world through digital portfolios. Students are able to save and submit a variety of work — videos, photos, text, and drawings, and they can reflect on their work in writing or with a voice recording. Examples of digital portfolios will be shown and a step-by-step guide given to teachers to get started.
The Student-Driven Chinese Language Classroom
This fun session is a simulation exercise that will immerse you in student roles so you can explore what it looks like to create a student-driven classroom. The simulation is based on a unit of work from a popular textbook. You will have an opportunity to take ownership of your own learning by exploring materials, developing questions, brainstorming vocabulary, engaging in discussions, and reflecting on progress. A final discussion in small groups will provide feedback about the experience.
Assessment For Learning
Research in assessment suggests that learners learn best, and attainment improves, when learners understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is expected of them; are given feedback about the quality of their work, and what they can do to make it better. Explore how formative and summative assessment for learning, can be the key to success in your Chinese language classroom.
The Thematic Approach to Teaching Chinese
During this workshop we will explore how to use themes in teaching Chinese. Themes are a great way to pull together a number of topics, focused on a real-life context so learning is effective and meaningful to the students. Teachers will run through the process of developing their own themes using learning outcomes, assessment activities, and vocabulary content.
Thinking Outside The Box - Teaching Chinese creatively!
Engaging students in the process of learning Chinese can sometimes be challenging. In this workshop we will “think outside the box” and examine creative and fun ways to introduce the Chinese language to Primary and Secondary students. As we imagine new ways of presenting Chinese, we will explore Student Contracts and Learning Centers to promote effective learning.
Strategies for Teaching Culture Through Language
Participants will explore ways Chinese culture can be integrated into the Chinese language program. Practical and simple examples of fun and effective learning activities will be given that can be used in a language classroom. Embedded culture and challenging language learning strategies are the foundation of a successful Chinese program.
Tips and Tricks For remembering Chinese characters
The latest research on the brain and language learning can assist us in teaching Chinese characters in a systematic way, so students succeed in learning. We will examine the use of chunking and visual memory, as well as ways of making Chinese characters ‘memorable’. This is a very practical session for teachers who want to make Chinese characters ‘stick’ using strategies suitable for Secondary students.
Let The Students Write - How To introduce Creative Writing
So often we limit our students to practicing writing Characters on grids, or formula writing patterns and templates. Unleash the imagination and creativity of your students with creative writing in the Chinese language classroom. Examples of how to use creative writing techniques in the Secondary school will be examined, as well as how motivation and engagement increases when students use creative writing to demonstrate their knowledge of Chinese characters.
The Best Apps For Learning Chinese
Explore how the iPod /iPad can be integrated seamlessly into the Primary/Secondary Chinese language classroom to support the learning for each student. Demonstrations will be shown of how students can learn independently, using Podcasts, Apps and videos, to enhance speaking, listening, and reading skills. Resources to integrate Augmented Reality’ will also be demonstrated, using various Apps.
Differentiation - All Students can learn Chinese
Students have different needs and favored learning styles. Differentiating in the Chinese language classroom involves matching your teaching methods to students’ needs and providing students with multiple options and paths for learning. We will explore the use of Choice Boards, Exit Slips, Student Goals, and Learning Contracts to maximize language learning in the classroom.
The Inquiry-based Approach to Teaching Chinese
Inquiry-based learning is a process where students are actively involved in their learning. They formulate questions, investigate widely, and then build new understandings, meaning and knowledge. This approach to language learning is student-centered, rather than teacher-centered learning. But what does this look like in a Chinese language classroom? Participants will participate in a hands-on activity – ‘The Marshmallow Tower’, and identify the elements of Inquiry-based learning.
The Flipped Classroom
Explore how to use technology to ‘flip the Chinese language classroom’ so students will review and learn new content at home, and then apply what they have learnt during class time. The shift away from the teacher as a giver of knowledge is replaced with the role of the teacher as a guide. The Flipped classroom is a highly effective way to motivate High school students with the use of technology.
Immersion - The Keys To Language Success
Research in Immersion Education suggests that learners learn best, and attainment improves, when students are immersed in meaningful communication. Explore how the experiential and immersive learning model can support your student’s learning of the Chinese language. Practical tips and ideas on implementing a partial or full immersion experience, will be examined including gestures, use of props, and visual aids.
Students in the Driving Seat - Student-directed Learning
We will explore how students can be encouraged to take the initiative and the responsibility for how they learn in the Chinese classroom. Teachers will experience the process first hand, as they brainstorm content, select learning activities, and manage their progress. How to balance direct teaching with student-directed learning will also be examined with practical examples for classroom planning.
A Global Perspective of Best Practices in the Chinese Classroom
We will explore the teaching and learning of Chinese from across the globe. Using videos of best practice in the Chinese language classroom, we will define the elements of outstanding teaching in the language classroom and determine how we can infuse these practices in our classroom. Video clips from Australia, U.S., and the UK will be examined for best practices that can be introduced into language classrooms.
Learning Chinese And Teens: Best Practices
Teaching teenagers in the language classroom is a highly rewarding experience. We will look at the unique cognitive development of teens that encourage self-directed learning and self/peer assessment. The teacher/student partnership is highly crucial in language learning, and we will examine best classroom practices that raise the standards for learning the Chinese language in teenagers. Tips for developing Units of work related to teenagers’ interests, as well as Learning Contracts will be explored.
Passion, Play and Purpose
For students to effectively acquire the Chinese language they need to be actively engaged in their learning. Teachers become guides and facilitators in the classroom, as play, passion and purpose are the driving elements of meaningful language acquisition. Included in this session are practical ideas for an inquiry-based Chinese language classroom.

Request a Teacher’s Workshop

Creative Chinese workshops are led by experts in the field and we welcome workshop proposals by teachers and administrators.

Using this form, to request a school workshop, conference speaker, Keynote speaker or customized PD training for your school. Our calendar is quite flexible and we will accommodate as many proposals we can. This is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your own professional growth and leadership at your own school.