春FUN Program Spotlight - Conclusion!

By Global Learning Coordinator Julie Farrell

春FUN Program

While students have enjoyed opportunities to interact with various guest instructors over the past two weeks, they also benefited from the hard work and creativity of two of our very own: Zhang Laoshi and Zheng Laoshi.

When I proposed to our 7th and 8th Grade Chinese teachers that they simply continue their Chinese curriculum as usual during, their response was something like, “we can’t be the un-FUN ones!” And with that, Zhang Laoshi and Zheng Laoshi jumped into action. After identifying a number of scenarios students would surely encounter on future trips to China—ordering Boba, asking directions, dealing with embarrassing conundrums, and bargaining at market—Zhang Laoshi and Zheng Laoshi set to “gamifying” each scenario for on-campus adventures.

The Chinese Language Institute, our partner in Guilin, filmed a series of videos on each of the four topics in context. Students then used the videos and custom lesson plans to prepare for each “game day” on campus. The result was a boisterous scene each morning, as cohorts used their language skills to compete for bonus points in the ongoing 春FUN competition. In one game series, students held roles as both buyers and sellers at a market with real products. As sellers, they set prices and developed marketing plans, and as buyers they bargained their way down to the lowest possible prices on items for themselves and English-speaking faculty members.

We all know that nothing can truly replace a trip to Guilin or Yunnan. But whenever this year’s 7th and 8th Graders have the opportunity to travel to China next, we do know that they’ll be equipped with the language and resilience to navigate the real thing.

One last huge, heartfelt thanks to all of the staff, faculty, families, students and collaborators who made this program possible. We could not have done it without you!