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Take up the challenge - Explore China!

International Teaching - Meg Study Tour to China

One of the challenges that I set for my students each year is for them to take advantage of the various educational opportunities that are presented to them. I encourage them to ‘step out of their comfort zone’ and at least attempt to gain new skills. This is exactly what I had to do when I travelled to China on Good Friday to learn, teach and experience this remarkable country with 12 other educators from Australia and the United Kingdom.

The tour took in a number of important and well-known locations in Beijing to allow each person to gain an understanding of some of the history and culture of this highly populated city. Hard to believe that 22 million people live in Beijing and Australia as a whole has just over 24 million. I participated in a traditional cooking class and sampled many traditional dishes over the 10 day trip. One of these days was allocated to a Chinese language workshop which cemented my awe of those who can master languages other than English. I tried very hard but my Chinese vocabulary is still extremely limited.

A highlight of the tour was when we travelled by bullet train (300+km per hour) to visit the Shijiazhuang government primary school where we had the opportunity to observe a traditional school day, inspect the resources of the school and conduct a lesson (in English) to local Chinese students. Our student guides took great delight in showcasing their 3D Theatre, Robotics Room, Science Laboratory and Digital Museum. All the students that we met were very polite and friendly and obviously very proud of their school.

I had a wonderful time teaming up with my United Kingdom colleague to present an English class that focussed on teaching the English names included in the song ‘Heads & Shoulder, Knees and Toes’. My presentation provided some cultural background information about Australia and then introduced a range of Australian animals to the students. All the students in our class seemed to enjoy the practical Australian animal cube activity that was supplied and were very appreciative of the souvenir animal key rings that were distributed at the end of the session.

Some other highlights of this tour:

· Visiting Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

· Visiting the Great Wall and experiencing snow

· Wandering through the Giant Panda Reserve at Chengdu

· Sampling Peking Duck and a traditional Sichuan hot pot dinner

· Attending the Beijing Opera

Overall this was a wonderful experience that I would highly recommend to others.

Mrs Cheryl Linford – VCAL & Youth Advance Co-ordinator


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