The Chinese Language Education Center (CLEC) of Providence University (PU) initially launched in October 2014, “Lingua-Cultural Exchange,” an outreach program sponsored by the Ministry of Education. CLEC International students visited Grade VI students of Taichung Bei-Shi Elementary School (BSES) and had a meaningful and exciting exchange and sharing of their cultures and languages with BSES students. A total of 25 International students from countries, such as, USA, Brazil, Sweden, Honduras, Japan, Korea, India, Swaziland and Kiribati participated in this program through a variety of exciting and stimulating activities that generate positive learning outcome.
This “Lingua-Cultural Exchange Program” consists of two parts:
1. Language Application
Three classes from CLEC who have studied Chinese Mandarin for only 2 months (120 hours) have been chosen as participants. They have been learning Chinese in PU CLEC for only two months but they can already speak on the following daily topics, such as; self-introduction, hobbies, favorite foods, etc. Their ample knowledge on these daily life topics has given them the confidence to communicate with the BSES students who excitedly participated in the discussion by asking practical questions such as, “How much is the food? What’s your favorite hobby?” BSES students and CLEC International students enthusiastically communicated with each other in English, their only common language. (All CLEC International students can speak English though they come from different parts of the globe).
2. Multi-Cultural Exchange and Sharing
CLEC International students prepared different topics and questions to share with the BSES students. They talked about their own country’s geography, architecture, food and drink, costume, folk songs, and table manners. They also performed a variety show such as, folk dancing of Kiribati, story telling of the USA, table manners of the Korean, architecture of Swaziland, and tea ceremony of Japan.
This outreach program has been an eye-opener for both the CLEC International students and BSES students as they are able to understand each other’s culture and language better. They have become more aware of the differences that divide them in terms of culture but at the same time they have also realized the value of having a common language through which they were able to communicate effectively with each other. This experience will be forever embedded in the minds of the youngsters of BSES as it has made them aware of the importance of having a common language, the most important factor in understanding the world, and its people and to be globally competitive in the International market.
As the first university to do this kind of program also called “mobile teaching,” Providence University, a Catholic University, dedicates itself to reaching out to the young ones from local schools in order to give them a chance to learn about the culture of others using English as a medium which hopes to bridge the gap and make them more aware of the world outside their school.
Providence University commits itself to continue this program in the years to come through the sponsorship of the Ministry of Education.
CLEC of Providence University “Mobile Teaching” with Taichung Bei-Shi Elementary School Students