28 Nov, 2016
10 : 00
Throughout their academic career at the Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS Beijing), students are regularly exposed to Chinese language and culture learning. Secondary School students learn this aspect of the curriculum through daily intensive Chinese classes as well as ourExperiencing China trips. However, Chinese language learning doesn’t stop in the classroom.
A prototypical example is the recent Honglingjin Park interview project undertaken by Secondary School students which gave them the opportunity to gain real-world language and culture experience outside the classroom. Below, Secondary School Chinese as an Additional Language (CAL) teacher Andrea Kang explains the project in detail:
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Andrea Kang. I graduated from Peking Language and Culture University in 2012 after which I came to YCIS Beijing. It’s my 5th year working here. I have been teaching Chinese as an Additional Language since then.
Please explain the project that students recently conducted in the adjacent Honglingjin Park.
We recently studied a topic called “My Day,” during which we discussed everything in our everyday life. The vocabulary students learn is useful both in their daily life and their real life. Honglingjin Park, adjacent to our campus, is a great place to chat with people as most of the park-goers during the day are in no rush and have plenty of time to answer questions. Students conducted basic interviews with them, like “when do you get up,” “what do you have for breakfast,” “what do you like to eat,” “when do you go to sleep,” etc.
How did students prepare for this project?
As the students who participated in this project are level 1 (this is only the sixth lesson they’ve had this year!) students first learned the necessary vocabulary and sentence structures to let them introduce their own daily lives.
They also needed to practice their listening, so they gave presentations to their classmates discussing their day before going to interview people in the park.
What was the purpose of the project? What were the expected learning outcomes?
The goal was to teach them to be able to introduce a schedule in a longer paragraph form rather than single sentences, enhancing their ability to speak in multiple sentences at a time. They also get to improve their listening skills outside the classroom; it’s important to talk with actual Chinese people rather than just hear from their teachers in a classroom environment.
They also learn some cultural elements as well, such as the difference in eating habits between people from northern and southern China.
How does this project align with YCIS Beijing’s Chinese program’s learning goals?
One of the main goals of the YCIS Beijing Chinese programme are to make lessons and the learning environment meaningful. Through this task, they have a realistic interaction with real people. The questions they ask and the answers they receive are more meaningful and interesting than what can be found in a textbook. The kids are also able to create their own questions, which increases their creative capacity.
We believe it’s important for our students to interact with local people because they don’t have much opportunity to do so during their daily life. It’s a vital part of every expat child’s experience to interact with the host country and its people.