Report on “Activating English Summer Camp” for Mingde School, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China, 2012

Date July 23rd – 27th, 2012
Place Mingde School, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Organizers Mingde School
Green Field Foundation Limited (GFF)
Sponsors Mingde School
Green Field Foundation Limited
Aim and Objectives
  • To improve efficiency of spoken English of students;
  • To get the students accustomed to the concept of interactive teaching and learning;
  • To improve reading and writing skills of students.

Report

12 volunteers left Hong Kong on July 22 for a one-week English summer camp in Taiyuen, Shanxi, China. The group was comprised of both veterans and first timers, so we had a good mix of experience and fresh blood.

The GFF Board decided to try a different approach for our annual English summer camp. We plan to return to the same school for several years to see if there would be measurable contributions at that school. The school we selected was Mingde School. It is not a traditional school because it is primarily a weekend and summer school for local student to spend time in a learning environment.

About 60 students attended this year, ranging from Secondary 1 to Secondary 6. With such a wide range of student age groups we divided the morning classes into three major groups of about 20 students. In the afternoon the students worked in smaller groups of 8 to 12 students each.

The weather was pretty hot during the day and the classrooms were not too well ventilated so some of the classes were conducted in the courtyard where it was cooler. Students moved their own benches and desks and we conducted class out in the open. During the day there was some jockeying to get the best spot because we had to move our location once or twice to adjust to the Sun’s movement.

As usual, the last day of class was left for group presentations in English. Students chose different types of activities to present such as fairy tales, story-telling, comedy, and singing. All of us enjoyed the presentations and appreciated the hard work the student put into preparing their presentations. We selected several winning teams for their outstanding performance.

On the last day the school staff and students organized an elaborate closing ceremony with a Chinese drum and dance group which added extra excitement to the atmosphere. In addition, a number of senior students gave some moving and well thought out speeches, the likes of which we had not heard before.

Marcellin Shi

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