Language & culture: A window into Chinese II class

Language teacher Yiquin Jang shares an activity from her Chinese level II class. After learning the vocabulary and sentence structures used in describing personal traits, the students created their own "person" and introduced him/her to the class.

In learning how to use Chinese vocabulary to describe a person’s appearance, Chinese level II students engaged in a hands-on activity. They worked in a small group of three, first, creating a “person” by tracing a peer’s body on a large poster, and then introducing this “person” to the whole class. Everyone in the group spoke a minimum of three complete sentences as required. 

Following their introduction, the audience asked questions regarding this “person.” For example, where does he/she live? Who are in his/her family? Does he/she has any relatives and what are his/her hobbies? The activity not only helped students review learned vocabulary and sentence structures, but also promoted their verbal interactions in the target language, enhancing their abilities in the four aspects of the language: reading, writing, listening and speaking. As many students in the class commented at the end of the class, "It was really fun and it helped us to remember what we have learned."

In fact, Peddie students in the language class not only learn the target language, but also the target culture. For example, during the recent Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, students celebrated this traditional holiday by learning the origin of the holiday and its significance in Chinese culture, singing songs and tasting food. More advanced classes did an oral presentation of the holiday in the target language. After all, language and culture are inseparable!