Step 1: To find out what my student really need from this project, we had a short conversation after our 2nd lesson.
T: Hi, I found you still have difficulties to structure character when you are doing your homework, right?
S: Yes, because Vietnamese doesn’t require a balance structure. So, even I practice a lot, most times I find it’s hard to put all the things together neatly as it should be.
T: Well. I have a question for you. Do you really want to learn how to write Chinese characters, I mean, maybe not perfectly but in a way a Chinese can write. Or, do you want to be familiar with daily used words and phrases so you can text in Chinese?
S: To be honest, I think to learn writing is very interesting at the beginning. I’ve seen lots of the calligraphers, which look so beautiful to me. However it’s not easy to do it by myself. I still wanna practice how to write but maybe not spend too much time on it in class.
T: That’s good to know what you want. I plan to put text practice in our next week lesson. I know you learned Chinese before. So I think you might have enough vocabularies to do text. Do you want to start from now. I mean we can start text each other in Chinese. Or you want to start it in next week’s class?
S: eh… I’m still not confident enough to text you in Chinese right now. Maybe…let’s start it next week in our class.
T: No problem
Step 2: To find out a suitable platform or app which can produce word texting
A: Mobile phone is not going to be used as the screen as its screen is too small for discussion during class.
B: Because both of us have Yahoo account, my first thinking is to use Yahoo web instant messenger. The problem is the chat box is too small, so I think it’s not qualified.
My 2nd thought is to use Facebook. The message area in Facebook is bigger but not big enough. I wish to have some full screen view. Besides, there are too many icons, pictures and even ad on the page. I think it will be a distraction for the student. So, it’s not qualified.
My last option is to use Google doc, which has a simple and clear interface to produce words. Although, as I know, my student doesn’t use gmail at all, I think it’s a good time to make him try Google a little bit.