Events Update: English Corner
If you were to wander through the Linden Commons on any given Saturday around afternoon you might be surprised to hear a chorus of young voices reciting words like: “pig” “rocket” or “jujube” with special emphasis placed on the ending consonants of each word. Following the voices to their source, you would be met with a group of giggling boys and girls who are eagerly playing English word-learning games.
During Thanksgiving of 2017, the Linden Centre revived “English Corner,” a program that offers free English lessons to local elementary school children on Saturdays. Lessons are lead by the Linden Centre’s team of current interns: Abigail, May, and Michael. Each week the Centre’s local staff bring their children and encourage their friends to bring their children to participate in lessons, which occur in the form of activities, games, and crafts.
Our lessons so far have included:
- Animals: Kids learned animals through acting, and learned how to say their respective zodiac animal.
- Fruit: Using fresh fruit bought from the morning market, we taught students how to identify their favorite fruits, and everyone got a yummy healthy snack.
- Transportation: Kids learned through acting how to say some of their favorite modes of transportation and played “red light, green light.” (We quickly learned that the kids preferred strictly policing each other during “red light, green light.”)
- Colors (Featuring our Artist-in-Residence Eli): Kids used watercolors to paint items of every color they learned. (When told to draw something orange, everyone drew, you guessed it, oranges)
- Clothing: Kids learned how to say their various clothing items, and eventually tried to pair these up with previously learned colors. Games included: bounce the basketball at someone wearing a color said by the teachers and telephone! (While playing “Telephone” phrases like “green shirt” somehow turned into “black shoes,” twice.)
English Corner was established in 2009 and was originally held at a local community center. The program was created with the goal of giving back to the community and to encourage intercultural communication and understanding. When asked what he sees as the purpose of English Corner, teacher Michael Chen said: “It’s a great opportunity to get kids interested in learning English. The purpose is not to teach them words for the sake of words, but to give them the sense that this is fun and useful. Our hope is this will give them interest in continuing to learn in high school and find a sense of purpose for themselves.” When asked what he likes about English corner, Chen elaborated: “it can be tiring, but every time you actually start doing it, the kids make it worth it. It’s especially satisfying when you hear stories of them going home and repeating the words at home.”
If you live in Xizhou, please join us every Saturday at 4:30 P.M. at The Linden Commons (Bao Cheng Fu).