Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day 15 (八月十六日)


Wow… what a week! Startalk 2014 was better than ever this year thanks to amazing students, an awesome team, and some very supportive parents. We are so happy with how this year's program turned out, we can't believe we have to wait another YEAR before we can do it again :( After seeing today's performances at the closing ceremony, we really saw how passionate and dedicated these students were. We are so proud and thankful for you!!

Students had a wonderful time throwing a celebration party this morning after finishing their final tests. Later during the closing ceremony, we were delighted with song and dance performances from level 1, a play from level 2, and a tai chi performance from some students and our friends from the kungfu studio! We also welcomed two speakers to touch on China and their unique culture. What a day! We are so sad that the program is over but we hope to see each and every one of the students next year! We wish all the students good luck in their upcoming school year!

Below are a few photos captured from the closing ceremony. Don't worry, all of our professional photos from the entire program will be posted on the website and Facebook within the week. Thanks again for all of your hard work!

再见! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 13


 We had a very busy day here at Startalk! Finishing touches on projects, dances, songs, and pronunciations are taking place! 

Level 1 students continued reviewing and practicing their characters, as well as their song and dance. We love the enthusiasm from level 1 students! :) All of their hard work is finally coming together flawlessly!

On the other hand, level 2 students got to record their interviews and commercials today! It was a very busy morning for them but they all finished and are SO excited to show you their final projects on Saturday! 

This afternoon wasn't as interesting as the morning, for the students spent it uploading work to a website that is required by StarTalk. However, level 2 had a little time to edit their videos and gain experience with Adobe premiere! Here are some more photos from their fun day! 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Day 12 (八月十三日)


Wow! Day 12 already! Today was a great day for the students! They participated in some awesome activities; read below to find out :)

This morning level 1 students practiced their interview that they would be conducting at Xilin Community Center in the afternoon. They reviewed terms through a fun and interactive game of jeopardy, then took group pictures outside. A little fresh air was definitely needed halfway through class ;)
Group photo! All of the professional pictures will be posted at the end of the program:) 
Level 2 students are adding final touches to their commercial lyrics, as well as perfecting brochures and interview scripts. The projects they started on day 1 are finally coming together! They also were treated to some fresh air outside for pictures and then prepared for their visit to Xilin.

One student's awesome brochure for the olive oil!
The best part of our day was this afternoon :) For lunch, we journeyed to H Mart, which is a store located off of Ogden. There is a food court with food ranging from Korean to Japanese; of course we ate from the Chinese location. This market is so large; there is everything from a grocery store, to household items, to cosmetics, to a hair salon! A very efficient place for the Asian community in Naperville to shop. Students explored the store by participating in a scavenger hunt throughout the entire place!

Being goofy at H-Mart ;) 
After H-Mart, the students rode around the corner to Xilin Community Center. At the center they got to interact with the Chinese elderly and play games that tested their knowledge of Chinese. First, the level one students conducted interviews with some of the center's members. Meanwhile, the level two students played games and sang songs with other members. Afterward, they switched places so that each level had the chance to complete both activities. We all had a great time here at STARTALK on day 12 :)

Activities at Xilin!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 11 (八月十二日)


We had a fun and busy day at Startalk! We can't believe we only have 4 more days left!

To begin, level 1 students learned all about family today, this includes pets ;) They learned very important grammar lessons that are crucial when describing amounts of people/things. To specify, whenever someone wants to communicate that they have four family members, there must be a measure word indicating the category. For example, to describe pets a student will say "yi zhi gou"which means one dog; the word underlined is the measure word for pets. An interesting thing about China is that the residents are getting richer and investing in pets; therefore, many pet stores are currently opening. : )

Students' work displayed for all to see in the classrooms! 

Level 2 students discussed vocabulary and lessons from yesterday including gift culture and marketing ideas for their olive oil business. The new lesson consisted of forms of travel, hotels, restaurants, along with household vocab. They are continuing their formulation of their business plan and effectively preparing for Saturday :)

Finally, this afternoon they got to practice tai chi in uniform and also practiced Chinese dance, the link to their practice can be found here.. enjoy!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 10 (八月十一日)


Today students were on their best behavior for the site visitor ;) Since STARTALK is a government funded program, we had visitors come to make sure we are doing our job today. I think we had positive results.

Level 1 students pretended to meet each other at the Great Wall. One was a Chinese student (中国学生)while the other was an American student (美国学生). They began talking because the Chinese student was particularly intrigued by the American student's hair ;) They learned how to say which high school they go to, then reviewed the vocabulary from the day before. Students had fun with this activity since due to its interactive nature.

On the other hand, level 2 was a little less interactive for they had unit 2 test today… but before hand they had fun learning about gift culture in China. They learned to always say "don't mention it" whenever they give a gift and learned to always be polite. They also worked on their brochure design, as well as the lyrics for their commercial!

This afternoon, the students had round two of the tea ceremony! Students got to practice making tea and also tasted many different kinds. We were led by one of the East Asian studies professors, he is definitely skilled at what he does! We are excited for the rest of the week! Almost done :(


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Day 9 (八月十日)


Intelligence, tongue twisters, and creativity fueled day 9 at Startalk. We had a great day of immersion into the Chinese language and culture, once again.

Level 1 students learned how to introduce themselves and others today. They practiced asking each other about family, friends, and professions . They understood how to describe things you "have" and "don't have," and also how to communicate doing something "together" with a friend or family member. They continued to practice their dance and song for the closing ceremony; then they played a review game that practiced their character memorization skills.

Level 2 students tackled a particular difficult grammar section today. They learned the use and significance of the "ba" particle in a sentence. "Ba" (把)refers to the result of an action but it is difficult to know where and when to use the structure. Ask your student to explain the particle to you and see if they know the function of ba. ;) Level 2 practiced their skills by creating and challenging each other with riddles. They also discussed business slogans and lyrics to songs for the commercial displaying their product.

Not your typical review activity! Having fun in level 2:)

Finally, students were delighted to continue their painting practice with the wonderful level 1 TA, Ding Laoshi! They practiced painting flowers and bamboo and much more! Their skills are definitely improving : )


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Day 8 (八月九日)


Half way done with the program!! This week has flown by!

Today level 1 students learned a very important grammar lesson. The lesson explained the use of "is" in China and how it is only used to describe someone's identity, like their nationality or their job. The term is not used in sentences like "he is tall." This concept is a little difficult to grasp but the students are beginning to understand more of it! Then our level 1 students enjoyed a friendly game of "Who wants to be a millionaire?" They reviewed key terms that they have learned but also enjoyed learning about major festivals and cultural traditions in China.

Level 2 is continuing their work in the business field. Today they learned how to describe products based on their weight, length, and volume. Then they compared that to how Americans describe products in that context. For homework, they are going to draft a simple receipt including Chinese food and olive oil. This is a great way to review foods and money.

As our program hits the halfway point, we decided to treat the students by making zongzi with them. This is a Chinese food that is made of rice stuffed with different types of filling. I think our students had a great time learning how to make this sweet treat :) Ask them to teach you how to make it!