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  • Writer's pictureLim Wei Bin

Innovative Teaching Case Study 1

Earlier days before I began my full fetch teaching, when I was in my student days, I gave tuition and I always tried to experiment with new methods to see what works, what do not.

There was this English-speaking family whom looked for me for tuition from recommendation, the child is hoping to score well in his O level, but his score was far from ideal. When I took him on, his mother requested for 2 sessions per week of 2 hours each.

After having my first session with him, I proposed to convert 2nd session’s 2 hours into 4 “half an hour”, whereby I will have a session with him on Wed, the other half an hour will be pack across Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri. The half an hour will be from 10.30 to 11 pm every night over phone.

Why did I choose this timing? Because every night channel 8 at 10 pm is the news broadcast. His role is to watch the news and share with me on the content of the news.

The objective is to help him improve in his Oral and Communication Skills. This way of conducting it, will help ensure the students get to touch on the subject everyday rather than only the tuition session. The idea is to tighten things up and help him improve at the fastest time.

Conversely, if we were to have 2 sessions of 2 hours, then the student has a high chance of only touching the subject on that 2 days, the other 5 days will be speaking and writing English. The tuition effect will be there too, just that the pace of improvement would be different.

In addition, he will also improve his overall understanding of the subject through spotting the 5W1H of the news, and also his skill of rephrasing as he will be telling and sharing the news with me.

Next, I will share with you on the commitment on my part.

On my end, I will have to watch the 10 pm news every day, day time I will have to read up the news as well to get myself familiar and understand every aspect of the news, I will then wait for his call every night at 10.30 pm.


The biggest challenge is Commitment, as I have to forgo late gatherings and get back home on time. Once committed, I would have done my very best to help and stay myself free. The discipline required would need to be very strong as it’s a daily thing.

There were also times when student forgot to call and he did not inform me when he is unwell or has other commitments. Thus, its quite painful as the commitment is on your end too.

Before Covid’s circuit breaker, any new form of “work from home”, parents would think it’s an easy job and tutor is earning easy money without considering other factors.

At one point when he could speak fluently, I receive feedback from parents that he was playing PlayStation while talking to me, that was how I found out, he has improved so fast, as on my end, I could not tell he is playing game while speaking.


At the start, he can only say 1 or 2 lines regarding each news. The sharing of news content should share about the 5W1H of the news. Where, When, Who, What, Why and How. Sooner or later when he can master this in 2-3 weeks, I improve on his vocabulary usage, and back then that year has world cup, and he learnt the countries’ names in Chinese Language. End result, attained Distinction for Oral exam.

Pros and Cons of using this method


- Fast Result (Learn and master the language fast)

- Learn the current affairs, keep themselves updated to the latest news which will prove fruitful in the long run

- To retell the news would ensure their understanding and strengthen their language ability while sharing


- Commitment and Discipline

- Time incurred

Nowadays, I do not use this method anymore. I strongly recommend parents to use or try out, besides helping kids to build up their habit of watching news and follow up on current affairs, it’s a good platform to improve and practice their mandarin.

Who knows I may ask students to use WhatsApp to type out instead, this will help them with their writing skills as well? Whereby they will get to practice on their content, hanyu pinyin (typing) and finding the correct words to use.


Lin Lao Shi has a wealth of teaching experience and is a MOE-trained teacher. Trained in Differentiated Instruction, he has helped many students with different learning needs with their Chinese language. If you have any enquiry, call or message him at +65 9727 9365.

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