Published: 03 December 2018
With China's economic development and increasingly extensive international exchanges, the world's demand for Chinese language and culture has increased dramatically. "Chinese fever" has arisen in various countries. English high schools have opened Chinese elective courses, and more and more people begin to learn Chinese language and culture. Adhering to the school philosophy of "cultivating healthy students for the unpredictable future", our school has opened four international online courses so far to enhance students' awareness of spreading traditional Chinese culture and deepen their understanding of different cultures of English-speaking countries. The link between China and Britain is a link course with a British high school. Through this online course, students have exercised their oral expression skills, intercultural communication ability and international understanding, as well as improved their cultural literacy and cultural self-confidence.
DHSG (Devonport High School for Girls) is a female high school characterized by foreign language teaching, from Year7 to A-level junior high school. In the course, students from both sides use Skype as the medium to discuss the similarities and differences of their cultures in the form of PPT display, video and mind mapping. The students in the other side of the course are all students who have taken Chinese as an elective course and participated in the Confucius institute course for at least two years. They all have a solid Chinese foundation. In the online course, students from both sides not only learn each other's culture, but also learn individual vocabulary in the communication.
As a new part of Junior Link, the Sino-UK connection has been opened simultaneously with the Sino-US connection. The participants of the course in our school are selected from the students of Grade One and Grade Two of Junior Middle School (General Class and International Department), and have joined two links in this semester. In addition to Skype's real-time online course, there is also an e-mail group, which has nearly 50 students from both sides. Every week, students from both sides will communicate in various forms, such as pictures and videos, in both English and Chinese. Students will not only discuss the similarities and differences of cultures according to the topics they have learned recently, but also share with each other the experience of the recent English Festival and Culture Festival held by the school.
On June 21, 23 students attending Junior Link held a summing-up meeting. They summarized the knowledge and skills they learned in the online course this semester, discussed their favorite topics and topics they hoped to add in the future, and put forward suggestions and opinions on the online course. Students say that British students are working harder than they think and need to work harder to get into better high schools and universities.
Now, our link this year is nearly finished, and I would like to say：I learned a lot from this chance.We talked about the culture between China America,and Britain.First,I want to say that Americans are kinds of normal,British people are kinds of strict about many thing,such as food,clothing,Education......And l think China is between these two countries,for everything.
We also talk about food,many people in China don't like Chinese food,they think it's to oil.But foreigners think Chinese food has many kinds and delicious,so they enjoy traditional Chinese food.Maybe cause their food are very simple, like hamburgers,sandwiches,pizzas like that.But,last year l went to Chicago America and I can see many kinds of food you know like British chicken sandwiches,Chicago has a very famous pizza store,their pizza are very good.And you can enjoy Mexican burrito there.
And we also share about our school life in China and in The US and The UK.We can see most of the Chinese students are crazy about tests and homework,but universities in China are very simple and easy to pass.But l know high schools I The US and in the U.K. have many different kinds of activities to do.And in university,they're very busy,because it's hard to pass the exam in universities.
So you can see,we have different cultures ,so we have different lives.
—From Junior bilingual 1 Ken
•Things I learned from Junior Link
Firstly, I have to say thanks to Junior Link that it gave us a chance to see more, to learn more and to speak more.
I have been in Junior Link for about a year. And I really learned a lot here, not only English, but also different cultures and communication skills. All of these things are priceless. It might helps me a lot in the future.
I have to admit that sometimes I got bored and felt tired of this. The link always goes wrong, and your hard work might go to waste. This activity really took me a lot of time. I always have to sacrifice all my spare time to finish those works. Including preparing for the class, writing those reflections, informing other members in our link about the homework/meeting and so on. But I think it worth, because I learned even more in return. It's an unforgettable experience for me.
•Differences between students from US/UK/China
Generally, Kayenta students are much more active and relaxed in the classes than us. They don't have a lot of worries or anxieties of schoolwork. And of course, we also have different cultures and different lives. Sharing the different culture is always the most interesting part of our Link.
As for the students from UK, since we haven't had a successful link with them yet, I don't really know about them. But I think they have a lotta exams like us. And that's why we always have to cancel our link. Well, that's a great comfort that we are not the only ones who have a lot of exams.
•About the topics
Well, we have talked many topics so far. Most of them are about cultures and daily lives. I think the most interesting one is Games. In that link, we shared different games, and we even played the game "Who's the spy?" together. It was a totally different feeling to play it with foreigners in a foreign language. And the students from Kayenta also fell in love with this game.
In the future, I hope we can have more interesting topics like that. Topics like Movies and Novels are great. I bet we can have a lot of fun with those topics.
I have to say that the tech-equipment was terrible. We failed in many links because of the problem of technology. Yeah, I know it's out of our control, but if we can improve this, the situation will be much better.
—From Junior 2 Justin