The main reason for our travelin 2017 was involvement in an immersion English program in China. A team of 25 or so volunteers from 4 different countries spend a week of training and 3 weeks of intensive English speaking.
It is a formal curiculum of pronounciation, speaking and recitation, vocabulary, and as much immersion in English with native speakers as can be achieved.The mechanisms for speaking require relationships, and so games, singing, cultural visits to museums and scenic vistas, and tourist attractions are all part ofthe interaction. It is a very full time, along with the heat, humidity, polution, faulty toilets, board hard beds, and many many people.
Our class was estimated to be between 15 and 20 students per class, but no one really knows until they front up. It’s a volunteer program on part of the students. It’s not complusory, and some who book in simply never show up. We (my wife and I were a team) had 14 students 4 men and 10 women, all between 20 and 25 in first or second year university degrees. A delight to teach. On the last day, the students were required to put on a skit for the whole assembly so we had 14 skits presented on the last morning. I think our class topped them all with a BBC inspired 5 minutes presentation of A Mid Summer Nights Dream. The only rules, the students choose the skit, and its content, and the teachers are not allowed to take part.
Well we guided, encouraged, assised in pronounciation, presentation, the students chose the piece, make the props, and on the day stole the show. It was a real hoot, and great fun. Sorry we didn’t have photos but we were both on stage holding trees, as props, but not “ taking part”. I can tell you, I was never a fan of Shakespeare but I will never hear or see a Shakespeare play as dull and boring ever again.
Before I left I decided I would make class notebooks, so produced 20 x A6 case bound booklets in good luck red wth the class name in gold.
Trouble is then I had to make 27 more for the teaching team along with a few just in case spares. I was still checking and wrapping them the night before we left. My first time wth a production run but a great way to refine and practice basic skills. I recommend it, if you get the chance.
I won’t bore you with the travelogue, The Milennium Museum, Matteo Ricci’s tomb (Matteo introduced the western science and culture in the late 1500’s) in the garden cemetery in the grounds of the Beijng Administrative University, The Temple of Heaven, Prince Gongs palace, Art street with its paper shops, the pearl market, the numerous parks and gardens, and much much more.
And just so you wont get bored, here is a couple of tourist spots. Click on the image to read te captions.