Language(s): Mandarin Chinese Duration: Six weeks Age of Students: High School Students ages 15 to 18 Class Hours: 120 hours/4 hours per day Target Proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate Overseas Partner: iEARN-China Overseas Language Institution: South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China In-Country Accommodations: Host families in the Guangzhou area.
Course and Program Description
The Summer Intensive Language Chinese Program aims to provide an immersive learning environment in which students will be able to improve their language proficiency significantly and enhance cross-cultural competence and communicative skills. Specifically, the summer institute will employ a carefully designed mix of learning activities, which will include:
One hundred and twenty hours of intensive Mandarin Chinese class instruction at three different levels;
Lectures on Chinese history, cultural geography, contemporary economic development and ocean protection;
Organized home-stay with Chinese families for programs duration;
Semi-weekly, organized interaction with Chinese students from local colleges and high schools;
One volunteer activity;
A three-day trip to Beijing to learn about Chinese ancient history, modern life style and language practice;
Several cultural excursions in and around Guangzhou to better understand the profound cultural, economic and social transformation currently taking place in China, and
One visit to a local Chinese company.
Guangzhou is located in Southern China, the leading area of national economic innovation. Therefore, the Summer Intensive Language Chinese Program will enable NSLI-Y students not only to study Chinese language, history and culture, but also to feel the pulse of Chinese economic development and learn about the profound transformation of modern China. The pivotal focus of all program activities is to provide a context for language learning.
Textbooks and Materials
The language Institute will carefully choose textbooks for students according to their Chinese language background and proficiency. A pre-program language placement test will be conducted to determine students’ language proficiency level. Textbooks will be supplemented with authentic and current language materials, which might include selected readings from newspapers, TV programs, films, or other relevant Chinese materials.
In addition to the carefully designed culture curriculum which includes lectures on Chinese history, philosophy, religion, family structure, revolution and war, US-China relations, climate control, and China’s modernization and its impact on the world, the summer institute will also include cultural activities such as martial arts, folk dance, folk songs, Chinese calligraphy, painting, and cuisine. Other educational activities include tours of the new and old areas of Guangzhou, a 3-day trip to Beijing and connections with local college/high school students. The summer institute participants will also have an opportunity to volunteer on an ocean protection project.
At the end of the summer institute each student will be required to give a formal presentation based on an assigned cultural project on an aspect of Chinese society, culture or on a topic of their own choice in consultation with the program directors. Students will also be asked to submit a written report based on their project as part of the program requirements.
The summer institute has a five-fold objective:
Develop students’ Mandarin Chinese skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in a total immersion environment.
Improve students understanding of traditional and modern Chinese culture through various interactive cultural activities.
Provide structured opportunities for students to experiment with and use their Chinese language skills.
Build new and strengthen existing personal and institutional relationships between our students and their Chinese peers and host families, i-EARN-China and the School of International Education at South China University of Technology (SIE of SCUT), and finally between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
Foster a continued interest in the study of Chinese language and culture upon the students return to the United States.
Enhance students’ self-awareness, confidence and interpersonal communication skills.
The Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with American Councils for International Education, AFS-USA, and iEARN-USA, is awarding U.S. government funding to high school and just-graduated students (ages 15 – 18) to participate in summer and full-year language programs in countries where these languages are widely spoken.