您现在的位置:首页>国际连线>域外经历

域外经历

My Experience in the UK(学生讲座)

文章来源:本站原创作者:佚名 发布时间:2010年12月17日 点击数: 字体:

 

            20049月至20056石小玲老师在英领馆的帮助下

                到英国做中文助教一年

 

 

My Experience in the UK(学生讲座)

By Shelly ( 石小玲 )

I.     Warming up:

II.    Background:

III.             Arriving in Britain:  

IV.   Brockenhust College:

V.    Chinese lessons:

VI.             Education systems in the UK

VII.          Life in the UK

 

I.     Warming up:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to my lecture.  Today I’d like to share my working experience as a Foreign Language Assistant in the United Kingdom from September 2004 to June 2005.

 

II.    Background:

As we all know, China has been developing very quickly in the last two decades and it will surely become an economic and political superpower in the 21st century.  Chinese learning has become popular because it’s a chance to study one of the most important countries in the world.  More and more foreigners are interested in Chinese learning, as well as Chinese culture and society with thousands of years of continuous history.

 

It was in 2001 that the Cultural and Education Section of the British Consulate-General (英国总领事馆文化教育处)and Guangdong Education Bureau(广东省教育厅) first sent Chinese teachers to Britain.  And now every year, about 30 to 50 Chinese teachers from Beijing, Shanghai, Kuming, Chongqing, Xiamen and Guangdong Province are sent to Britain to receive training and teach Chinese there.  It’s a chance to promote Chinese culture in British schools and experience the UK teaching environment.  Every qualified and experienced secondary-school teacher, who can speak fluent English and standard Mandarin would have such an opportunity.  Luckily, I was one of the 35 Chinese Language Assistants two years ago. 

 

III.   Arriving in Britain:

We arrived in London Heathrow Airport on September 11th.  During the four-day training, we learned some skills of working as an FLA, Foreign Language Assistant in Britain, how to deal with British students, even how to survive in the UK.  We were also shown around London after class. Getting closed to the Big Ben, walking along the River Thames, and watching the changing guards outside Buckingham Palace were all my dreams which came true at last.  Our first dinner was pizza, which was our first taste of Britain. Of course, not everyone enjoyed it.  Mine was chicken with mushroom.  It was OK, though I couldn’t say it was delicious.  We were excited in London because everything was completely new to us and we saw the real UK.  The fifth day came and we got on different trains separately because we worked in different cities.  I worked at Brockenhurst College, which was in Brockenhurst, a small village in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire(汉普郡) in the south of Britain.  It’s about one and a half hours from London by train.  It’s such a beautiful village where flowers and ponies can be seen everywhere, sometimes even on the road.  Of course, people would stop their car and wait until the cattle cross the road.  There is a small village centre, where there are small shops, a post office, a baker’s, a supermarket, an expensive hairdresser’s and two or three small coffee shop.  It’s a quiet and peaceful place.  I love people greeting and smiling to each other when they meet.  People would say “Hello” to one another whenever they meet with a sweet smile.  In a word, it’s such a lovely place where people live in harmony.

 

IV.  Brockenhust College:

Brockenhurst College is in the top ten of the 300 colleges inspected by Ofsted (Office for standards in Education).  It specializes in the delivery of student-centred education, demonstrating excellence across a wild range of academic and vocational areas.  Students are mainly British, and some are from Europe, America, and even Asia.

        

School starts at 9:00 am.  It’s briefing from 8:45 to 9:00, when all the teachers and staffs get together in the staff room.  The principal usually talks things about the college.  It was often heard that he thanked teachers or staffs in different department for their contribution to the college.  Each lesson is one hour and ten minutes, much longer than ours.  Lunch break is from 11:20 to 11:40, only twenty minutes when teachers and staffs come to the staff room to have tea or coffee.  They usually bring their home-made sandwich with them, or buy some cakes made by students in cooking lessons.  The students usually have a hamburger or chips in the canteen.  School is over at 4:30 in the afternoon.  They usually go home or study in the library, or surf the Net in the computer room.

 

It was the first year that Brockenhurst College had opened Chinese lessons.  I had 12 hours’ of teaching periods for 8 different groups with two to eleven students.  I also gave lessons to the teachers and staffs, as well as the principal.  Besides, I gave lessons to 8 adults for two hours on Monday evening.  I was thankful to them because they were eager to drive me home after class, especially on a cold winter night.

 

The problem for me was that there was no Chinese textbook for students, nor any information about China or Chinese, nor any Chinese characters on the computer.  Fortunately, I was well-prepared and brought enough teaching materials and teacher aids with me.  I had to design what to teach and how to teach all by myself, even after I got a textbook of Chinese for GCSE.  What’s more, we had some training courses once several months, during which we could share teaching methods or ideas with other teachers.

 

V.    Chinese lessons:

My first Chinese lesson aroused the students’ interest as Chinese was completely new for them.  After giving a self-introduction, we compared the difference between Chinese names and English names.  I taught them how to say hello to each other in Chinese “Ni hao”.  So later, whenever they met me, they all greeted me “Ni hao”.  Ni hao ma?”  I also told them my hometown, Guangzhou.  I showed them pictures of Guangzhou and delicious Cantonese food and told them Guangzhou was famous for eating.  That was why there was a saying “Eating in Guangzhou”.  Some of them had been to Chinese take-away or Chinese restaurant and they enjoyed Chow Mien, sweet-and-sour pork.  Looking at the pictures, they were surprised to find that China is such a modern country.  Some girls even shouted, “I want to go to China.”  They all enjoyed the fairytale “The Five-Ram Statue” which is a landmark of GZ.  The lesson was ended with a competition of using chopsticks to pick up hollies into their own paper-boat I made for them.  The winner was given a pair of chopsticks as a prize.  They all love the presents I gave them, such as the paper-cutting, Chinese ties, lantern for mid-autumn festival, stamps or even some small stickers of stars or roses.

 

Students enjoyed different kinds of games I designed to help them learn.  They enjoyed the topics I chose for them, such as numbers, dates, animal years, idioms, eating out, shopping, making telephone calls and so on.  We played “盖棉胎” when we learned numbers.  We made telephone calls to Jacky Chen. “你好,请问成龙在吗?.”  It was not easy for them to recognize the Chinese characters, so I have to teach them to use their imagination.  For example, the word “”, you have to stretch your arms with your feet apart to show that something that is very big.  On the opposite, “”means something that is small, so stand straight with two hands on both sides.  ” is a woman walking in this way.  ”is safe and settled, when a woman is under the roof.  Then a boy agreed, “Yeah, when my mum is at home, everything is settled”.  ”is a country.  So you have to build a castle, with the king inside.  Remember the king has got a mole.  Then close the door of the castle.  When they play the game of recognizing the Chinese words, it was always easy for them to get the word “”.  They shouted, “Get the mole, get the mole” immediately they saw the word.  I also remember it was great fun when we compared idioms in Chinese and English.  For example, I told them a riddle,“Two men fell in love with the same girl.  One was a salesman, while the other was a doctor.  One day, the salesman had to go out for business.  Before he left, he gave the girl seven apples.  Why?”  Some students shouted out, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  So you know, in Chinese, it’s exactly the same.  一日一苹果, 医生远离我.”  From this idiom, we can see, men, no matter the British or Chinese share similar or same idea.  But sometimes there are some differences.  For example, “He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth” is used to describe a person who was born in a rich family because rich people often use silver cutlery.  I told the students that we had a similar idiom in Chinese, but we don’t use silver spoon.  One student shouted that it must be silver chopsticks.  But the answer is gold key.  In Chinese, that is, “他含着金钥匙出生.”  So you see, we have differences because of different culture.  As you know, names, dates, addresses, even when children play games “石头, 剪刀, ” while in English, it is just upside down.  “Paper, Scissors, rock.”  My explanation was that China is in the east while Britain is in the west.  They are opposite directions, so it’s not difficult to understand why we are completely different sometimes.  So when we learn English, we have to learn the way used by people in the English-speaking countries, but not Chinese English.  The best way is to recite some sentences or articles.  Speak English and listen to English as often as possible.  Remember to read English ten minutes before you go to bed, then one day in future, you might speak English in your dream.  At that time, you will surely speak perfect English. 

 

In Britain, students’ attitude towards studies is quite different from Chinese students.  They do not work as hard as Chinese students.  They way of teaching is to motivate the students.  British students usually respond well to encouragement, but not punishment.  Since the students’ number in a class is much smaller, it’s easier to have different games, which involve all the students and maintain their interest.  At the end of the school term, they had to fill in evaluation forms, giving comments to the teachers and the subjects they learned.  I was happy to read the comments like this, “A bully wonderful course.  It is amazing to be offered the opportunity to learn such an unusual language, taught by a native speaker.  Shelley is a great teacher and makes the course very involving and interesting.  I would definitely recommend it.”

 

The most difficult for British students is the four tones in Chinese.  They can not distinguish the four tones “a, a, a, a”.  So their dialogues are often sounded like this, “你好吗?”  我很好, 谢谢, 你呢?”  我也很好, 吃饭了吗?”  But some students are really very good at languages.  A girl in my class could speak fluent French, Spanish, German, Italian and was learning Chinese.  She must have a gift in languages, I think.  When I gave my last lesson, we had a party and I even taught them a Chinese song, “Friend”.  When I got to “朋友一生一起走, 那些日子不再有, 一句话, 一辈子, 一生情, 一杯酒.”  I even wanted to cry.  They sent me a bunch of flowers and a bottle of red wine.  One sent me an apple made of wood because it lasts long and there’s a saying in English, “An apple for a teacher.”

 

The principal, Mr Snell, attended my lesson almost every week. He had been to Liaoning, Hunan and Guangzhou so that he knew about China and was interested in Chinese learning.  The following is his comments: “Shelley has been an outstanding pioneer!  Her English and understanding of our culture is exceptional and she has been universally liked and praised by everyone who has dealt with her. We have all learnt a great deal from her and I have seen comments from her sixth form students clearly indicating that they intended to continue with their studies at University.  I intend to learn more too!  Shelley is an excellent and knowledgeable teacher who can motivate and maintain interest in her students.  She is also a brilliant ambassador for her country.”

 

VI.       Education systems in the UK

Education in the UK is compulsory(义务) for everyone between the ages of five to sixteen.  Many children start their education at the age of three or four at a nursery school or in the nursery class at a primary school.  They go to primary school (Year 1 to 6) at the age of five and generally move to secondary school at the age of eleven.  All UK secondary schools, both state and independent, teach pupils at least until the age of 16 and prepare them for GCSE, or equivalent qualifications.  After completing compulsory education at the age of 16, students may legally leave school and start work.  Most, however, study A-levels or equivalent qualifications as six-form students in a school, six-form college or college of further education.  Six-formers usually finish their secondary education at the age of eighteen with A-levels or equivalent qualification, and then go on to study at university.  They usually study for three years in the university and graduate at the age of 21.  That’s why people celebrate their 21st birthday because most of them graduate from college and start to work after that.

 

I was lucky to give a lesson about Chinese New Year in a nursery school.   The kids were four years old.  They were so cute that I really wanted to touch them.  But we were told never to touch any kids because it’s against the law to touch the children.  My landlady works in Brockenhurst Primary School, where I went to watch children having lessons and my son even spent a few days experiencing school life in Britain.  I was amazed to find that the children behaved so well and they were all nice to me.  The students were active in class.  They raised their hands and asked questions immediately they were confused.  My students were over 17 years old.  They were clever and active in class.  Though it was not easy for them to learn Chinese, they did learn a lot of conversational Chinese and understand Chinese culture.  It was interesting that they all asked for Chinese names.  For example, a girl called Jennie was given a Chinese name “珍妮”.  When I told her it meant treasure and it was a beautiful girl’s name, she was very happy and told her British friends, “你好,我叫珍妮”.  A boy whose name was Ryan was given a Chinese name as “乐仁”, which means happy and kind. He was pleased and asked to take a picture with his Chinese name on the whiteboard.  Before the Chinese lessons, they only knew a few Chinese words, such as “kungfu, chowmein, fengshui.”  It was only after two months could they give a self-introduction in Chinese.  大家好, 我叫安东尼, 我是英国人, 我十八岁”.  They were worried that Chinese people might not understand them.  But do you think you can understand?  We exchanged different opinions about school life and different cultures sometimes.  All after all, I thought I could be a good Chinese teacher and I enjoyed working in the UK.

 

VIII.       Life in the UK

I lived with a host family, Mr and Mrs Stratton and their four sons, the youngest one is a college student at Brockenhurst College.  Their eldest son, Tom, worked in Cornwall for Prince Charles and the second son, Simon was being trained as an actor in London.  The third one, Nick, who was 21 years old just graduated from the university and worked in a company selling yachts (游艇).  Mr Stratton was a businessman and his wife worked as a teacher in Brockenhurst Primary School, as I mentioned just now.  I spent almost 300 days with such a warm family.  They were all very nice to me.  They all said I had become a member of their family.  Only when I paid the rent did I remember that I was a tenant.  Most of time, we chatted, played games, and I often cleaned the house for them, I think that’s why they like me.  But what I believe is that they way you treat people is the way people treat you.  People living under the same roof should respect and help each other.  We spent Christmas and the Chinese New Year together, when we had dinner together.  My landlady even named the flower bed in the garden “Shelley’s Flower Bed” where she intended to grow lots of roses because roses are my favourite flowers.

 

People often ask me what impressed me most in the UK.  I would say firstly, the air.  It’s so fresh and clean.  Secondly, it’s the environment.  It’s not as hot as Guangzhou.  Flowers can be seen every where, especially when spring comes.  You can see roses in the garden.  And some roses even grow over the front door.  Thirdly, it’s the people there.  They are nice and friendly. What surprised me most is that most men in Britain are family-loving.  They have family day at weekends, when they went out for a walk in the forest or enjoyed the sunbath on the beach.  My landlord never shouted at his wife.  They kiss when they come back home from work.  Look, they kissed in front of me when they got to a kissing-gate outside the church.  Fourthly, most people have the idea of life-time education.  They still keep learning at an old age.  A teacher at the college told me that her mum got her first degree at the age of 60, and the second one at the age 72.  She is now 82 years old now, but she still keep learning.

 

I found most British people enjoyed DIY.  They paint the house themselves, cut the grass in the garden, or make cakes or different kinds of food by themselves.  Have a look at Jon making a birthday cake for his girlfriend, Kelly.

(Video)

 

And most of the gentlemen are very kind and helpful, especially to ladies.  When I first arrived in London with my big suitcase, I was always worried when I got to stairs, got on or got off the train.  But every time a gentleman would turn up and asked if I needed help.  When a lady and a man came to a door, the man would always open the door for the lady and said “After you”.  Walking in the street, it’s not difficult to find that a man is walking near the traffic.  We can see what a real gentleman is in Britain.

 

I also got on well with my colleagues in Britain.  They invited me to their house and had dinner or showed me around in their car.  We went to the pub sometimes and had dinner together, trying different kinds of food from China, France, Spain or Germany because the department I worked in was the foreign language department.  There were two other foreign language assistants from Spain and France.  We made very good friends.  We had dinner together, and after that, we often played games, watched TV and chatted.  I even translated the film “Crunching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to them.

 

I enjoy different kinds of food.  The food I like best in Britain is Fish and Chips, Jacky Potatoes, and of course banquette.  But they are all very expensive to me.  They cost 3.99 to 6.99 pounds for a meal.  Even McDonald cost 3.79 for a set dinner.  If you go to Britain, you can’t miss cream tea and scone, which is typical British afternoon tea at around 5pm.

 

At weekend, and holidays, I often went traveling to different places, such as Stonehenge, Cambridge, Oxford, Liverpool, Manchester, and of course, London.  We even had a trip by coach, visiting 10 European countries in 14 days.

 

The only problem when I was in the UK, I think, was homesickness.  I miss my parents, my husband, and of course, my son the most.  I can understand why people say, “East or west, home is the best.”  You cannot understand if you never leave home, so now, I know most of you miss your parents and home more than before because you are in a boarding school.  Is that right?  So spend more time with your parents at the weekend and share your experiences with them.  You know parents are always the ones who love you most.  But of course, all your teachers here love all of you very much, so enjoy your study and life here.

 

 Thank you very much for your attention.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

【打印文章】 【添加收藏】
二中微信公众号
手机版