Chinese Culture During July
Summer vacation for six Winthrop
students meant teaching English to hundreds of Chinese youth.
The Winthrop students spent the
month of July in the China's Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai.
They worked with middle school age children at various schools that
offered the English lessons as part of a summer camp enrichment
Some of the Chinese students
barely knew the Roman alphabet; others had five years of the language
and were quite fluent.
The pilot program was a first for
Winthrop and for the university's Chinese educational partner,
Shanghai International Studies University.
Accompanying the students were
Susan Kress, Winthrop’s study abroad coordinator, and Peter Philips,
an associate professor of biology. Kress found China a fascinating
place to visit.
“China is at a crossroads,” she
said, speaking of the rapid modernization and construction taking
place across the world’s most populous country. “There is evidence
everywhere of Old China and New China. You can see an old wagon full
of bamboo poles along a road, and right beside it, a Mercedes zooms
Ford Davis, a junior mass
communication major from Rock Hill, loved the language, the people and
the culture. The important Chinese cultural idea of face - gaining
face, keeping face and saving face - was something to constantly
consider, he said.
He supervised the middle school
students in playing games, such as soccer and baseball. The latter,
the Chinese found difficult to grasp.
For sophomore Lindsay Sacks of
Aiken, S.C., the experience was a good way to gain classroom
experience. “This was the first time I had a classroom to myself,”
said Sacks, an education major who holds a Palmetto Fellow teaching
scholarship. “The teaching aspect was a lot of fun.”
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