All Hallows Mandarin Excellence Programme China Visit 2019 – Blog #1 – Mandarin Lessons, Hutongs and Dim Sum for Breakfast
The 19 students and 3 teachers from All Hallows arrived in Beijing on Friday morning for the two-week Intensive Learning Course after a long 18 hour flight with a layover in Abu Dhabi. Even though it was 10am and all we wanted to do was go to bed, the students did really well and battled through the jet lag on their first day on campus.
With our base in the prestigious Beijing Language and Culture University, we are partnered with another school from London for the duration of our two weeks. We share lessons in the morning with them and the afternoon is spent on an outing applying what they’ve learnt in the morning to a real-life setting. So far the students have learnt about different regional architectural styles, which we reinforced with a visit to the National Museum in Tiananmen Square and to a hutong (a traditional Beijing residential district), and learnt practical skills about buying things when shopping which they put into practice when Mr Bell and Miss Sun took them to a shopping centre in the Wudaokou District.
Of course, the biggest difference is possibly the food! Our students have been putting their chopstick skills to the test with meals in the various university canteens, although the looks on their faces when they saw that dim sum was on the breakfast buffet might suggest that it will take the best part of the two weeks to build up the courage to try it at 7.30am.
During the opening ceremony, Mr Thynne thanked BLCU, the Confucius Institute and the Mandarin Excellence Programme for creating this fantastic opportunity for our students to take part in a varied and enriching programme of events, and highlighted All Hallows’ and Macclesfield’s historic connection to Xi’an through the Silk Road and our school partnership there. We were also presented with a ‘Heart of Friendship’ ornament which we look forward to bringing back to All Hallows. Year 8 students Eva and James did the school proud by thanking the teachers and our hosts for this opportunity in perfect Mandarin – well done to them!
Over the next few days we’re looking forward to learning about Chinese music and customs, as well as visiting the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.
IMG6425: The group outside Beijing Language and Culture University
IMG6420: Learning about Chinese schools in the classroom
IMG6387: The group outside the National Museum in Tiananmen Square
IMG6426: Mr Thynne and Mr Bell at the MEP Intensive Learning in China Programme Opening Ceremony