13 Jan, 2017
10 : 00
YCIS Beijing’s upcoming annual Temple Fair promises to yet again be one of the highlights of the school year, featuring traditional Chinese performances, handicrafts, games, and snacks. For Primary School students, the Temple Fair is also an opportunity to showcase their Chinese culture and language learning through a selection of performances.
April Peng, Primary School Chinese Coordinator and lead Temple Fair performance organizer, shares why these student performances are an integral piece of the event and the benefits they bring to students.
Student performances are a major part of the Temple Fair celebrations every year. What is the purpose behind these performances?
The students offer a truly multifaceted variety of Chinese New Year performances, including dances, songs, rhymes, and poetry. What these performances highlight is that students aren’t just learning language but also the history and culture behind it, which in turn helps them gain a deeper understanding of China as a whole. We strive to promote the local and global context of our learning, so aligning with Chinese culture and language together in this performance is very important.
Why do you think performances are an effective method to present this learning?
It’s a very comprehensive way of expressing what they’ve learned, allowing them to integrate performing arts into their Chinese culture and language classes. Students are able to select what they’ll perform according to their personal interests, which makes them more invested in their learning as well.
How do you think these songs help students learn Chinese?
Students memorizing their performances necessarily improves their language skills, but they are also taught the cultural significance behind the Chinese New Year stories and poems they are learning. This leaves students with a deeper impression than a typical lesson would.
How were the performances for the Primary School students selected this year?
Students in Year 2 through Year 6 have daily Chinese Studies classes, so students are able to choose from a selection of topics based on that class’s curriculum. With their teacher’s guidance, students choose together according to the topic they are most interested in.
Why do you think children enjoy learning these songs?
It’s an opportunity for students to harness their own talents and interests to create a performance for their parents, which tends to be more interesting than learning from a textbook. Every student has their own set of interests and skills, so this allows them to express themselves in the way they want.
How do Chinese culture events like the Temple Fair enhance student learning and development?
The Temple Fair creates an authentic environment for students to experience a traditional pre-Chinese New Year Temple Fair. It gives them the opportunity to experience something they never have before, an experience that their parents may be hard-pressed to provide them due to lack of language skills. This and other Chinese culture events, such as Experiencing China trips, seek to immerse students in the local culture and provide a deeper understanding and connection with their host country.