Chinese Department


Category Archives: Ms. Khloie Tan

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Are you up for a challenge?

“Teacher, what can I do after I have completed the worksheet?”

I often hear students who work fast asking what else they can do, and they are always up for my challenge.

For our revision worksheet, they was a crossword puzzle – and they were game enough to create their own puzzle!

IMG-8430 IMG-8429 IMG-8428They were so excited that this habit has grown in them – to challenge their friends! Their new narrative is now – “Teacher, can I set questions for student X?” Cheers to such moments of self-directed learning 



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April Aces

As we near the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), it is time for revision on the vocabulary words in the stipulated list. Apart from sample test papers, Grade 3 students engaged in a “word search” game.


Each student first got a few flashcards with printed with Chinese phrases, we then discussed which topics they were related to. They then got to place the various cards on different spots.

When a topic is being called out, students moved around the classroom – frantically searching for the relevant phrases.

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Meanwhile, ES1 students got busy in a card game challenge where each of them got to keep the cards by forming a sentence with the phrase they got from the deck.



Meaningful learning can never be boring!

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What’s in your room?

As with the end of Quarter 3, we concluded the lesson on My room for Grade 3 Mandarin. Some of the students could remember the vocabulary well, while others needed more time for practice. Nonetheless, the most important element in language learning is to be able to apply it in our daily lives.

Through the activity of drawing out the layout of their bedroom, then labeling them accordingly, students got to put things into perspectives. Here are some of their masterpieces -



Not bad, huh?

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Spring Beckons!

With the Chinese New Year falling on Feb 5th, CISM students learnt more about the Chinese culture in this 2-week long Spring Festival.




Chinese dragons are a symbol of China’s culture, and they are believed to bring good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community. While we only got to watch a lion dance in CISM, both Grade 3 and ES1 students got to make their own paper Dragons.





They made papercuts with Pig, as it’s the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar this year.


They also got to be creative in making and designing their own angbaos or red envelopes. Traditionally, only married couples gave angbaos as a form of blessings. Therefore, students got to write messages of gratitude to their loved ones. 

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What’s brewing in 2019?

After 4 weeks of school break – can students remember these foreign-looking Chinese characters? Most students find Chinese characters hard to remember – there are just so many strokes for each one. Hence, it is important that students recap them before they get lost from the long-term memory for good! In Grade 3 class, students got to create their own Bingo sheet after writing practice. This activity helps in Word Recognition in an enjoyable way (they kept asking for more time to play it!).Also in ES1 and MS1 classes, they had to recall and interpret each phrase…IMG_7674IMG_7675IMG_7679…before making meaning and forming sentences of their own. What is the endgame in terms of word recognition? Dr. Dirk Meyer (Associate Professor of Chinese Philosophy, University of Oxford) says that there are around 64,000 characters in a comprehensive dictionary, and that if learners know 5000 characters – they are doing well. That’s merely 7.8 %, phew! If you still think this is insurmountable, fret not – even native Chinese may not be 100% accurate in using the correct Chinese character, as well as pronunciation. Check out how they fare when a British puts them to the test -


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Metacognition – Thinking about thinking…?


So many strokes, so many strokes order to remember, each Chinese character looks complicated…

Not easy, painful, hard to remember, these are what many Mandarin learners associate with when learning Mandarin – the most difficult language in the world. What if we take them out of these “learner” perspective, and make them feel confident of what they have learnt thus far?

Metacognition Instruction has been practiced in class. In simple words, this strategy we take on in class is that students also learn how they learn, and examine which methods are more effective for themselves. Students are highly encouraged to take charge of their learning, asking questions to crystallize their learning.

With this promotion of Autonomous Learning, students are given space and time to reflect on how to retain knowledge better. Look what happened when they took on the role as an inspector

  Students actually devised smart ways that made things difficult for their peers! They dismantled each Chinese character into the individual strokes, and their buddy was supposed to guess and form it correctly. Very creative, isn’t it?


 Glad that students are one step closer to being lifelong learners!

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Celebrating #cismbookweek2018

Last week, CISM celebrated the annual Book Week and the whole school was filled with much buzz and excitement.

During this fun-filled week, we also saw the introduction of many new Chinese book titles in the school library – check this out!

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These titles were handpicked by the Chinese department, who ensured that the content was interesting and the format was suitable for our learners. IMG-7468 IMG-7469

Love this story on Tian Ji’s Horse-racing Strategy! (Psst… watch the video here:

Other classical stories which distills the Chinese wisdom:


These classic tales come in Simplified Chinese, has Phonetic guide, and even included the English translation.


For parents who are interested to do reading sessions with your child, there are some explanations and also suggestions on carrying out the activity. IMG-7472The Mandarin Storytelling Club started with one of these titles yesterday, and the club members got to know the famous martial arts movie star Jackie Chan. They were so tickled by the story, and also learnt how to identify Jackie Chan – his big nose!

There sure is something for everyone, so do encourage your child to borrow these brand-new titles from the library!

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Learning by Teaching

Learning mandarin is not easy, but somehow students find it incredibly fun to teach it to one another.

One way of a quick review on new vocabulary is to have the students to quiz one another, right after they are done with the writing practice.


Fun in class: guessing and writing the Chinese character my classmate is writing on my back.

Loving how the students take on active learning!

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September Highlights

With the mid-autumn full moon, end-September is a time for family reunion for the Chinese.

In class, students learnt about the legend of Chang’E before acting it out in groups. They also had fun with the traditional dice game.

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Most students had already learnt how to play it, and this year we introduced the origin – yes the dice game is a tradition from Xiamen (a city in China) and not a practice of all Chinese!

Everyone went home with some goodies from the game – what’s not to love about a sure-win lucky draw? :)

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Welcome to a year of joyful learning!

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to SY18/19! I am Ms. Khloie Tan (Chen Lao Shi), and I am the Chinese teacher for Grade 3, ES1/Grade 4 and MS1/ES1. It is my pleasure to be part of the CISM faculty this year and I look forward to a wonderful and fun-filled learning experience in CISM.

I believe that students should be the center of learning and my job is to facilitate, guide and lead each and every one of them as they go through every learning opportunity within and outside of the classroom.

I believe that teachers and parents share a common goal here in school: for children to have a fruitful and successful learning experience all throughout the year. In this note, an open communication will greatly help your child’s Chinese learning development. Please feel free to contact me through my email and/or set an appointment with Ms. Kitin Conchu at Tel. No. (632) 798-0011 Local 103 or 116.

Here’s a quick peek on our first week in Mandarin class:

CheersES1 students drawing pictures to recap what they learnt in the previous school year