Online Chinese study program well-received by British students

(People's Daily Online) 13:58, August 23, 2021

The 2021 “Chinese Bridge” Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) Virtual Intensive Study, an online Chinese-language studying summer camp for British middle school students which ended the other day, helped participants improve their fluency in Chinese and better understand Chinese culture, winning high praise from the British side.

Teachers of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and staff members have a group photo after the online tour to Houhai (Photo/UIBE)

The two-week program, co-organized by over 50 MEP schools and 14 Chinese host institutions in 10 cities, was attended by over 1,400 British students.

The Chinese partner institutions offered diverse Chinese-language courses and cultural experience programming with localized features for British students. The University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, for example, arranged an online tour to Houhai, a scenic area in the city. The university sent an anchor to Houhai, who explored ethnic arts and crafts in the network of alleyways, including traditional Chinese fans and “Lord Rabbit”, a local handicraft symbolizing happiness and good luck. Meanwhile, another anchor in a studio relayed relevant information about the arts and crafts to the students. Despite the physical distance, the participants’ enthusiasm was able to be ignited, and they raised questions one after another.

The UIBE also organized a session on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, which is about six months away, including relevant vocabularies and topics, and a dialogue with members of the preparatory working group for the Winter Olympics. They introduced the construction of the venues, preparation work, and the country’s efforts in advancing coordinated regional development.

British students’ homework after online learning. (Photo/UIBE)

Another Chinese institution, Zhejiang Normal University in east China’s Zhejiang province, prepared an online shopping session for the students and offered them a virtue tour to Hangzhou, capital of the province, which enabled them to visit stores selling intangible cultural heritage products and appreciate local folk songs.

“MEP programs play an important role in improving Chinese teaching in the UK and British students’ Chinese language proficiency, and deepening exchanges between the younger generations, as well as building friendship and trust between both countries,” said Hong Junjie, vice president of the UIBE.

An official from an MEP school called the program a unique opportunity for the British students, as it helped them to break out of their conventional thinking, make more friends, and find more job opportunities.

While some MEP students said they felt proud of participating in the program, others voiced their willingness to continue to learn Chinese, as learning Chinese is very worthwhile and brings new opportunities for them. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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