Yu WU, China Mandarin Language Teacher
I participated in The Startalk Chinese program, an intensive that allows American students to develop both speaking and writing abilities in Chinese as well as an understanding of Chinese culture.
1) This career enhancing experience allowed me to gain new perspectives and new teaching methods and share teaching experience with other teachers. Also, I have an opportunity to develop lifelong friendships and professional relationships
2) American students and teachers learn Chinese from native speakers. It increases knowledge and international awareness on the part of professional colleagues through interactions with exchange teachers. Also, it helps develop a professional relationship between the two participating schools, which can result in more teacher exchangers, and student exchangers.
3) Host communities have the opportunity to learn about another nation, culture, language and acquire increased awareness of diversity of ideas, values and ways of life. The Startalk program included classroom instruction as well as hands-on demonstrations and field trips. During Startalk’s final performance and New York Chinatown field trip in 2008, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at New York to show students the Chinese collection.
We also went to New York Chinatown to show students a real-world example of Chinese culture . Students spoke Chinese to bargain, order Chinese dishes, used chopsticks and drank Chinese tea. At the Startalk’s final performance, students wore Startalk’s T-shirts that write Chinese characters and do brush painting. They performed Chinese skits and fan dance, recited poems, and song Chinese songs “Beijing welcomes you”. When the final performance finished, students and I took pictures.