As Languages teachers we are fully aware of the enormous benefits for learning that an in-country study can bring. The first Teach Meet: Asia event for 2015 will centre around the topic "The Power of Study Tours" and feature stories such as the one below from Wesley College.
In January 2015, Wesley College conducted a study tour to China for Year 8 and 9 students as a bookend to the first year Chinese language has been taught at the school. During the tour, students visited the city of Shanghai and Chuxiong involving sight seeing, visits to local schools and staying with host families. Here is what some of the boys had to say:
“Dajing High school is much unlike our own in that it consists of a huge building containing all the classrooms and a small oval out the front. When we went inside the building we saw that they had rooms dedicated to a single subject and entire floors for science and languages. After we had a tour of the school we talked with some of the students about their daily lives; we found that most of their lives are consumed by homework, doing an average of 5 hours per night, and their English was to the point of fluency because they studied it as we would maths or any other core subject.” Ben
“Dongxing High School was host to our homestays; students whose families we would be staying with for 2 days. These students arrived at school at 7 everyday, had a 2 hour lunch break at 12:30, then stayed at school till 6, leave to have dinner with their families, then come back for after school classes till 11! As if that wasn’t enough, they then come back home and do around 3 hours of homework, so the smart students get to sleep at 1 at night, 5 and a half hours of sleep, THEN get up at 6:30 and walk to school again.” Matthew
“Amidst the breathtaking beauty of the temples we got a chance to witness and understand further the ancient philosophy’s and principles that are still present in many people’s lives even in the fast paced and often hectic setting of modern China.” Sean
“Our time in China has given me a greater understanding of more than just the Chinese language; meeting new people, how to overcoming cultural differences and how to use a squat toilet are all lessons I have learnt from this trip and I look forward to many others being able to experience and learn from it in the future.” Sean
“I think we’ve all personally learnt something from this incredible trip to China, whether that be about the culture, people, food, or how to use chopsticks. This has easily been the biggest highlight of the 2014 Chinese course for me.” Matthew
Thank you to Mandarin teacher, Bon Zhao at Wesley College for sharing photos and students’ reflections of the tour.
If you have recently conducted a school tour or would like to find out more about organising one in the future, participate in the first Teach Meet Asia for 2015 at Hyogo Cultural Centre on Thursday 30 April 4,30-6.30pm. Teach Meets are free networking events for teachers across all sectors. Click here to register.