In cooperation with Summa & Bedrijf, we have successfully rounded off the first series of a Chinese Language & Culture course. The course consisted of 2-hour weekly lessons, from September to March.
The participants are a very cheerful and nice group. They were always very open to share their opinions and to discuss certain topics from their own cultural background. Sometimes they were also curious about my experiences as a Chinese person in The Netherlands. Very often, they got to look at their own culture from another perspective and we often had a good laugh and ended up with much better understanding of each other.
The course ended with a trip to a Chinese supermarket and a dumpling cooking lesson. During the last lesson, I got a surprise gift from the students. It was a big red (a lucky color in Chinese culture) box with the character 福 (happiness). Inside the box, there were typical Dutch snacks and also a book called: 1.000 Must-Dos in The Netherlands.
This people-to-people contact was a fantastic experience for me as a teacher and the students alike. They have experienced Chinese culture through personal contact, instead of only through negative things in the news or on social media. One participant who is teaching Dutch to non-natives said: “I now do understand my Chinese students much better; their behavior and how difficult it is for them to learn a totally diffident language in a different country”. That is such a great comment.
I always think: when you learn another language, you might not end up speaking this language fluently, but you will definitely understand your own language and yourself much better.
The next course starts on October 2023 in Eindhoven. I am already really looking forward to it!
If you are interested in joining, you can check Summa & Bedrijf or send me a message.
Here is some feedback from the post-course questionnaire:
What have you learned from this course?
- That it is easy to quickly form an opinion about the way of thinking or customs of other cultures. If you know the motivation (underlying thoughts, the past/history), you can better understand it.
- More insight into cultural differences.
- A few words of Chinese.
- A better understanding of the difficulty of learning a completely different language.
- Certain expressions, being able to take Chinese culture into account, and cooking a few dishes.
- When I go to a Chinese restaurant, I can speak a little bit of Chinese.
What moment of the course was the most memorable?
- Jessica’s stories about life in China and the guest lecturer (Ed Sander on Internet Censorship).
- The game about cultural differences.
- The lessons about Chinese culture. The experiences and enthusiasm of the teacher.
- Chinese language.
When asked for suggestions for improvements, the most mentioned “suggestion” was:
- when is the next course?
Rating for the teachers: 9.2/10
Rating for lesson material: 8.4/10
Would you recommend it to others? 8.6/10