Richness of Chinese literature draws Nan Chiau students
The bookshelves in Lim Qi Xin's home are filled with classical poems and Chinese literature.
Influenced by her family, Qi Xin picked up The Legend Of The Condor Heroes, written in traditional Chinese, when she was 10 and was immediately drawn in.
The 15-year-old told The New Paper: "The characters are rich in their emotions. The way they expressed themselves through the nuances in the story drew me in and from then, I was hooked."
She went on to read other classical texts and when she was in Primary 6, she made the decision to enter Nan Chiau High School for its Chinese Literature elective.
At Nan Chiau, students study a mix of classical and modern poems, and books by popular Chinese writers, both local and foreign. It is one of the secondary schools that will introduce the Language Elective Programme next year. Students at Nan Chiau can take literature as a formal subject starting from Secondary 3.
Mr Tang Jui Piow, the acting head of the Mother Tongue Language Department, said certain methods to explain key concepts, such as pop culture references, are employed to keep the students engaged.
He said: "Some of these texts are set in an era decades ago, so we really want to help them understand that despite this, the themes that they see in these texts are recurring in our daily lives - things such as war, romance and kinship."
These methods certainly worked for Chloe Yeo, 15, who took an interest in Chinese literature after she started watching period dramas in primary school and was enthralled by their costumes and behaviour.
Mr Tang said steps have been taken to introduce elements of Chinese literature in lower secondary.
He said: "Some of them may feel it is beyond them and too challenging, but the message we want to bring across is that if you work hard enough, there is no subject that is too difficult."
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