Welcome! 欢迎!

I’m not new to blogging, but instead of blogging for my organisation I am blogging for myself. What I do is down to me, not the organisation. So, be inspired by myself, by my students and by the world because the world really is a beautiful and astounding place.

随它吧,女皇

Yesterday in Shenzhen, China, the pop singer Yao Beina (姚贝娜) lost her battle with breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2011.

Yao Beina became popular with the Chinese public after she made a series of songs for hit drama The Legend of Zhenhuan in 2012.  She also performed on a number of TV Galas, including the 2014 CCTV Spring Festival Gala, where her performances received much praise from the public.

In 2013 she was invited to become the image ambassador for the China Pink Ribbon Campaign, which aims to raise the awareness of breast cancer in China.  In the same year she won the Chinese version of “The Voice” “中国好声音”.  She is known for singing the Chinese version of the Frozen song: “Let it go” (随它吧).

Dark Heavens trilogy

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The Dark Heavens trilogy is written by Kylie Chan and follows the adventures of Emma and her romance and ultimate adventures with Xuan Wu (also known as ‘John’), god of martial arts. Book one introduces the key characters, the sweet romance of Emma and John, Chinese culture and lots of kick-ass Kung fu. Book two and three build on these, increasingly delving deeper in to Chinese culture and mythology. Sadly as the series progresses and a gargantuan Kung fu battle looms the ending fails to deliver the climax I was dreading/hoping for. Overall a fair read with some great cultural detail, but let down by a disappointing finale: 6/10.

Final Performance: Practice makes perfect

The final performance for parents and sponsors from HSBC and the British Council was on Saturday 2nd August.  Unlike most school performances where students have weeks to practise and hone their performance ou students only had a day!  Students concentrated on their class performances but also chose several cultural activities to demonstrate to their parents on Saturday.  (NB: I’m aware that the tone on the 颜 should be the second tone)

The Dragons begin practising their class performance!

The Dragons begin practising their class performance!

 

Thanks to Ms Tiernan everything goes swimmingly!

Thanks to Ms Tiernan everything goes swimmingly!

 

Students busy themselves with practise for cultural activities.

Students busy themselves with practise for cultural activities.

 

Practise practise practise!

Practise practise practise!

 

 

Magic Scrolls: Writing workshop

As part of our final day classes I gave the Dragon class a writing workshop.  We looked at the history of Chinese characters; the difference between pictographs and ideographs as well as stroke order and its importance.  Then, to help students practise Chinese characters we used Magic Scrolls.  As you can see, we had lots of fun! ^_^

If you’re interested in me coming to your school to do a similar Chinese writing workshop, please feel free to contact me.

Using Magic Scrolls

Using Magic Scrolls

 

 

Character practice made fun!

Character practice made fun!

 

Hard at work but having fun!

Hard at work but having fun!

 

 

I can write my name!  Does anyone know what it is?

I can write my name! Does anyone know what it is?

 

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Nomnomnomnomnom! 好吃!

To round off the week, the students went to a local Chinese restaurant to sample Chinese food in authentic surroundings for their dinner on Thursday.  Despite the downpour of rain which accompanied our walk through town, the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the chance to sample Chinese food.  And if they didn’t, I was extremely happy anyway!

Table 1!

Table 1!

Table 2!

Table 2!

Table 3!

Table 3!

 

The teachers!

The teachers!

 

Liming and myself  ^_^

Liming and myself ^_^

Liming and David

Liming and David

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寿 Longevity

寿 Longevity

 

The food arrives!

The food arrives!

 

Harvey demolishes 11 spare ribs!

Harvey demolishes 11 spare ribs!

 

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The teachers are served.

The teachers are served.

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Oakham 2014: Day Four

Wow.  How much can you fit in to a day?  A lot!  All the students have managed to finish the Morning Exercise routine (see my facebook page where I’ll upload a video in the not too distant future)

In language lessons, the Dragon class have finished their language lessons, learning: 你是哪国人? and 你住在哪儿?and the names of lots of different countries and cities.  They’ve also made a start on their Grade 2 speaking and their class performance.  Whilst the other classes are singing, we’ve decided to do something a little different with our topic of colours.  But I won’t spoil the surprise just yet!  You’ll have to wait!

This afternoon, after some more Taichi, the classes have rotated around four different workshops: Chinese knots, Calligraphy and Chinese painting, Chinese dragon boats and Chinese paper cutting.  They created some amazing artwork which will be lovely souvenirs when they’re older.

A 'show and tell' table with items from the British Museum.

A ‘show and tell’ table with items from the British Museum.

 

Dan introduces Chinese knots to the students.

Dan introduces Chinese knots to the students.

 

The students use cork boards to help them knot the red silk thread.

The students use cork boards to help them knot the red silk thread.

 

Et Voila!  After a little [lot!] of knotting you too can make a knot this good!

Et Voila! After a little [lot!] of knotting you too can make a knot this good!

David introduces the four treasures of Chinese calligraphy as well as how to draw bamboo and pandas with Chinese brushes and ink.

David introduces the four treasures of Chinese calligraphy as well as how to draw bamboo and pandas with Chinese brushes and ink.

 

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Over to the students! 轮到你们!

 

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Some of David's fantastic artwork.

Some of David’s fantastic artwork.

 

Origami boats to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.

Origami boats to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival.

 

Chinese paper cutting; 'double happiness' (双喜) and a 3D 春.

Chinese paper cutting; ‘double happiness’ (双喜) and a 3D 春.

 

 

 

 

年龄与颜色

Phew!  What a busy day we’ve had in the Dragon classroom!  We’ve finished off the topic of numbers with learning how to say how old we are PLUS our birthdays, before going on to colours and food and drink!  All students have now successfully passed their Grade 1 in their writing and speaking; Grade 2 tomorrow?!

我的生日是。。。

Do you know when these guys were born?

Toby

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For the final performance we’re going to have to do something on the colours in Chinese, as we learnt the colours today I thought I would make a special effort with rainbow jewellery and eyeshadow!

多颜色的!

多颜色的!

Oakham 2014 update

It’s been a busy couple of days here at the Summer School with students studying hard in language lessons to pass their Grade 1 and Grade 2 tests as well as working hard in their cultural workshops.

During workshops on contemporary China, the students have learnt Chinese bamboo dancing; Chinese fan dancing; how to spin handkerchieves (which I enjoyed lots!); they’ve also had a go at Tai Chi tennis, Tai Chi itself; kick football (踢毽子).

Tai Chi lessons with David.

Tai Chi lessons with David.

 

Chinese fan dancing

Chinese fan dancing

Tai Chi tennis

Tai Chi tennis

Dan shows the students the 'ways of the banboo dance'

Dan shows the students the ‘ways of the banboo dance’

 

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Chinese kick football (踢毽子)

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Bamboo dancing fever!

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I told you I had fun!

 

During workshops on Chinese art, students have learnt about the Long Dragon, the Yellow Dragon, the Black Dragon and the Pearl Dragon; the story of their sacrifice and have even had a go at drawing their own Chinese dragon.

Dan introducing the story of the four dragons and their sacrifice for the people of China.

Dan introducing the story of the four dragons and their sacrifice for the people of China.

Faith shows the students how to draw their dragon, step-by-step.

Faith shows the students how to draw their dragon, step-by-step.

 

An example of the fantastic artwork by one of my own students, Matt.

An example of the fantastic artwork by one of my own students, Matt.

 

Looking good!  (Now to colour in!)

Looking good! (Now to colour in!)

 

Students also spent time painting Chinese inspired watercolours and have produced a colourful array of artwork to display during the final performance on Saturday.

Chinese inspired watercolours.

Genius at work: Chinese inspired watercolours.

Looking good!

Looking good!

 

Fox brush

Fox brush

 

Tomorrow language lessons will continue with most starting their Grade 2 and more cultural activities (Chinese knots, origami, paper cutting and calligraphy?!)  So little time but so much to do!  Watch this space!