Our final meeting, we decided to focus on the English language in order to help King with his English skills. The themes that we discussed during this meeting were about the social life and the educational system in both Cyprus and China. We wanted to focus more in communication skills and pronunciation of the words. The thing that surprised us was the fact that both countries had similarities in their educational programs and systems, starting from primary school to the higher education. Another thing that we had in common is the exams needed in order to enter any government universities in the country. Therefore, King told us that English teachers are the future jobs for China and that they are needed in the country.
For the end, we all expressed how our experienced was during those meetings, and our highlight out of all this crazy journey. We all agreed that it was a unique opportunity and that we made the right decision by participating in this program.
In our next, ninth meeting, we had the opportunity of using the alphabet that we practice in a poet that King taught us. King went on and explained to us in English the poem, word by word so we would be able to understand the meaning of it and each one of us went on repeating it after him. The poem was talking about the spring and how it is welcomed from people using various of metaphors like the yellow leaves are dancing and red leaves are flowing. This helped us on practicing our skills in Chinese while at the same time get to know more the Chinese culture. After the poem, we practice the numbers and the alphabet pinyin once more.
In our eight meeting we had the opportunity of repeating the Chinese alphabet. We refreshed our memories from the first lessons by repeating the alphabet, the pronunciation, the characters and some simple communication words. King helped us by showing us one site that has the first thing that a person should learn when he wants to learn the language, and he helped us by improving and advising us on how to exercise the language.
Some days passed by for us to be able to arrange our next meeting, because all of the members of the group had to return to our countries. We finally had the chance of communicating through Zoom with our meeting being concentrated in English and how we are responding to the current situations with Covid-19 in our life.
Our friend, King, told us that people in China are out again and they are trying to go back to their normal life. They are trying to wake up from the nightmare and feel normal again by going out, shopping and going to work. He told us that this summer he will not be able to go for holidays but he will enjoy his summer alongside a pool and some refreshing drinks.
Our team, from Cyprus, we told him that because we are living in a small island is not difficult to go to the beach for a one-day trip. Therefore, we explained to him that because Cyprus is a warm island, we will be going to the beach and pools all summer. Therefore, we told him that , because of the Covid-19 and the strict measures that are taken in Cyprus, everyone should wear masks, gloves and being negative to the test in order to be able to enter the country. For closure, we all agree that we hope the future will bring us more bright days and that all this sad situation will be stay behind us.
On our 6th meeting we decided to play some games in order to improve our English skills and knowledge that we have. Firstly, we discussed a little about how we are doing, our news and then we started playing a game. We chose to play a game were we have to guess a word by saying letters, and if we make 5 strikes, the we lose. We used type of words like colors, animals, food, plants and other types. We enjoyed the whole process, because it was a funny way of learning new words and helping each other to gain new knowledge.
Last Friday, 27th of March, we made our fifth online meeting and we decided that we were going to focus on English in this session, in order to improve Kings’ English skills. We decided that each one of us should describe one of their favorite movie or episode in English, the plot of it and our favorite part. Afterwards, one of the members of the team discovered one application that provided us with exercises on English and conversations that we could use to practice. Maria, King and Panagiotis were acting on the conversations on English and i was helping them understand any unknown words that they might had during this procedure. The whole scenario exercise was a lot of fun for the whole team, and i am sure that all of the team members had fun during this.
Due to the unfortunate events that are happening these days, we as a team, decided to continue our learning journey through online meetings on Zoom.
On our first meeting we decided to learn some of the daily basic phrases that we might find useful to use in a conversation. Through the meeting we also developed an imaginary conversation and try to use what we have learned so far. Some of the sentences that we learned was:
Nihaoma? (How are you?)
Nin gui xing? (What is your family name?)-> Wo shi Athina (My name is Athina)
Ni shin a li ren? ( Where are you from?) -> Wo shi sai pu lu si ren. (I am from Cyprus.)
Ni shi shen me zhuan ye de? (What do you study?)
For our third meeting we decided to visit a supermarket and see some products, learn how they are in Chinese and help King learn them in English. It was a more practical meeting and concept and we wanted to learn as much as we could from our daily products that we use. The Cypriot team we were dedicated to help our friend King to learn how some products are read in English and he got the chance of learning some new products that we use in Europe and the way we use them. Therefore, he introduced us the products in Chinese and he also shared with us other ways of using the products that they use in China.
It was an enjoyable afternoon and i am sure that all of the members of the group, including me, we enjoyed it and had lots of fun.
During our second meeting, we decided that it was time to start learning a little bit more about the Chinese language. We decided that we wanted to start with the basic things that a child needs to know in order to form a correct sentence and words. We analysed the alphabet and the way that we must pronounce them and then we tried to connect some of them into syllabus.
Therefore, we learned that there are 4 different ways of intonation and the way we need to say it. The vowel has a different symbol on the top part for each one of the four ways. This is a very important aspect of Chinese language, because a wrong intonation will change the meaning of the word or the whole sentence.
We then continue and learn the number, firstly the basic 10 numbers from 0 to 9, and then the way that we can mix them to make the rest of the numbers. This was one of the difficult parts, because we needed to remember the way that each number might be combined with the other in order to say the correct one.
Lastly, we attempted to form simple sentences, use the things that we already learned. Also we tried to introduce ourselves in the simplest way, by only saying ‘My name is…’
Here are some photos of what we learned that day.
On Monday 10th of February, we had the opportunity of getting to know China from its people. We had our First meeting at the TAMK cafeteria with our group, and our Chinese friend Zonghang, and we discuss their culture as much as ours.
We talked about their festivals, and especially their Spring Festival that is the most popular one, and how the calendar changes according the position of the moon every year. China is divided in 56 different regions and their culture might differ in some things. They told us that as tourists we have to visit Beijing, the culture center, Shanghai, the economic center, Xi an where we can see ancient architecture, and Cheng du where we can eat traditional food and huoguo(hotpot). Also, they inform us that some people believe in Budhism but most population of China do not believe in something.
Then we talked about the food that are eating and we could not hesitate in asking if the rumors of eating animals like dogs and cats are true. They told us that a very small group in South China might eat them, but in general nobody eats them. They told us that they eat a lot of rice, and the only thing that it might be weird that sometimes people eat is cicada ( a type of bug). They also showed us some photos of their daily foods.
After that, we got the chance of introducing them our country, Cyprus, our traditions, our culture and the top destinations for tourism. We showed them some of our traditional savory foods and desserts and we told them that we will arrange a dinner so they can taste them.