Tag Archives: culture

Rainbow Language Club

For those in Leicester who are interested in joining in with the local Chinese community in their Chinese New Year celebrations please make your way to Kirby Moxloe Free Church on the after of Saturday 18th February 2012 from 2:15 – 4:15pm.  There will be arts and crafts, music and songs, Chinese calligraphy, dancing and lots of fun to be had!  Entrance is £1 and free for Children under 5 – all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Please support your local Chinese community and join in with their festivities!

For booking procedures please contact myself at g.jamieson@djanogly.notts.sch.uk


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Immersion Day #6

It’s been a really good week, with every day being packed full of lessons and interesting cultural activities that the students have thrown themselves into and learnt a lot from.  Sadly, from a language teaching point of view it’s been horrendously difficult to ‘cram’ everything needed for them to pass Asset Speaking Grade 2.  But, we made it!  (Just!  >phew!<) Despite the students having arrived with no or very little Chinese they have left managing to gain a Grade 1 in their Writing and a Grade 2 in their Speaking.  Well done, Dragons!

Once assessments were out of the way I could join students in their preparations for the class performance tomorrow.  Progress has definitely been made and even in the first few rehearsals there have been massive improvments!  Students are going to perform a story about different coloured dragons arguing why their colour is the best, making references to the Chinese significance and meaning of the different colours, before deciding to call a truce.  Very clever (totally their own idea) and I’m looking forward to it!


The Dragons rehearsing in class

Props ready? Check. Students ready? Erm...

After lunch it was photo time with students having photographs with their schools, roomates, class and new friends – ne serious and one silly (of course!)

The Dragons! (Being sensible)

The Dragons (Being very silly!)

Then Dan outlined the plans for tomorrow with students deciding which of the cultural activities from this week that they would like to represent during the performance.  Once decided, the rest of the afternoon was spent practising and preparing for this cultural activities as well as spending time in their class groups for more rehearsing.

David practising tai-chi with his dedicated students

Ribbon dancing in the the Common Room!

Lots of lovely coloured lanterns ready to decorate the theatre

Finished spice bags ready for show

After spending the afternoon rehearsing and eating our fill at the last dinner in the canteen here at Oakham school (many thanks!), students were taken over to the theatre for final rehearsals to help relieve any nerves before tomorrow.

Students on stage! Don't they look good!!

Sarah got down to some serious decorating with the help of Liz and Rachel and the theatre is looking ‘Chinesified’ already!

Sarah working her magic

The stage is set...

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Proud as punch!

My Dragons show off their Chinese Knots from this afternoon's activities

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Immersion Course Day #5

>Phew!< What a day!  After introducing some new phrases and questions (asking about age, days of the week, nationality) all students successfully passed their second Level 1 Writing and Speaking tasks so have at least a guaranteed Level 1 Asset certificate at the end (not bad for four days work!).  After that they began work on their class performance for Saturday.  The Dragons have been given the task of ‘colours’ and have come up with a sketch about each colour and their meaning in Chinese.  It’s set to be very good with all of them arguing about the brilliance of their own colours!

My red dragons! Hot blooded and loyal

My white dragon! Pure evil!

The blue and yellow sister dragons - fierce and wise!


The green dragon - impulsive and stubborn! (looks it, huh? ;))


The gods of silver and gold!

After morning lessons and a yummy lunch students tried their hand at kung fu with Dr David Dong.  They did try to add in the ‘huh!’ sounds but were told not to bother!

Everyone was kung fu fighting!

The afternoon saw the students divided into their classes and circulating between four different activities.  With Sarah, students made their own Dragon Boat in preparation for the famous festival; with Rachel students made some fragrant ‘spice bags’ that are frequently handed out to the community at the time of the Dragon boat festival and are small bags filled with lavender and general stuffing and then decorated cheerfully before being handed out as gifts (this week has seen all teachers helping out with the sewing of these bags); with David students were introduced to Chinese calligraphy its past and history before trying their hands at it themselves; and last but not least students were learning how to make a Chinese Knot (中国结) with Daniel.

Sarah showing students how to fold their Dragon Boats


Students decorate their Dragons for their Boats

Students work on their spice bags with our special guest from HSBC


David introduces the history of Chinese calligraphy to students


Before students take their turn!


Students watch as David shows them some different calligraphy styles


Having a go at Chinese Knots


Et voila! Not too hard and looks great!


Students show off their Knots

After all their hard work students were treated to a Chinese banquet prepared for us by Oakham staff; sweet and sour chicken and spring rolls!  Sarah worked really hard to decorate the canteen for the occasion and some students and teachers even got dressed up!

Sarah's wonderful decorations for the canteen



Students tuck into their Chinese food




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Finished masks

Some of the finished Opera masks from yesterday's workshop! They look great (if I do say so myself!)

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Immersion Course Day #4

Practice really does make perfect.  Today my Dragons did some revision before taking two Asset Level 1 writing and speaking tasks, which they all passed with flying colours!  Well done guys!  We also covered pets, how to talk about the pets you have and don’t have, as well as colours and what our favourite colour was.

Before making a start on the afternoon’s activities, students had their second Tai-chi session, with them learning how someone else’s force can be transformed in to energy which they can use to make them stronger.

David demonstrating to students the art of Tai-chi.

The afternoon has been as jam-packed as ever with the students once again split in to two groups.  One group began painting and designing their own paper Chinese lantern, which started off as a blank canvas before being transformed into the colourful lanterns we all know and love; with a personal twist!


... and after!

Fed up with watching paint dry, out come the hairdryers!

Whilst this painting frenzy was going on the second group concentrated on their dancing skills with a professional Chinese dancer.  After warm-up exercises, containing some tear-jerking stretches, the students got down to trying out the peacock dance of the Dai (傣族) ethnic minority from the south of China.  Students were shown how to make their hands resemble a peacock’s head before learning the moves.  After learning this dance, students were then taught a dance from Xinjiang and then how to dance with ribbons.

Students try out red cloths, commonly seen in Chinese dancing and acrobatics.

And a long sleeved jacket worn for some dances.

Before the stretches! >Ouch!<

Students are shown the Dai 'peacock' dance.

Dancing with ribbons

With the groups swapping over and to help time pass for those students now watching paint dry on their lanterns, our course leader, Daniel Clayton, got the bamboo sticks out.  Within minutes, students were playing at a traditional game of southern Chinese ethnic minorities (like Western ‘skipping’).  The catch being they had to dodge the bamboo sticks and get across to the other side without falling over!

Bamboo jumping!


Our course leader, Dan, shows us how it's done!

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