In the final meeting, we focused on the English language by helping King to improve his communication skills, although I realized that when you teach something you learn the concept better. So, we discussed two topics, first were the social life in China and in Cyprus and then, the second our main topic was the educational system in both countries. Surprisingly, we found out that are very much alike, not only in the structure – from primary school till the higher education- but also, with the exams the postgraduate should apply, if he/she would like to continue the studies in a government’s university. Additionally, we mentioned future careers in both countries, and King said that in China, English teachers have a great future, which is the contrary in Cyprus. Last but not least, after a long and very interesting discussion about our countries, we conclude our lessons by expressing our feelings and that the EOTO was an amazing opportunity to learn new skills, to study two different cultures and having a new friend in China. I am so grateful for having this course this semester. 🙂
The ninth meeting’s objective was to get more familiar with the Chinese language and culture, by studying a poet from Chinese primary school. Our friend King was explaining each sentence in English, so we can understand, and then each team member was repeating the poet in Chinese. The overall point was that the autumn is coming! Of course, that is not real as the summer is coming, although this practice not only provided the Chinese language exercise but, also the cultural aspects of what the kids in China learn, such as nature is very important and they learn to take care of it. The poet below mentions metaphors, like there is a yellow bird and a red butterfly, yellow leaves are dancing and red leaves are flown. Moreover, we studied the numbers from 1 to 10 and the pinyin a bit more. I enjoyed this lesson and it was also, very funny when I and my team were trying to say the phrases correctly, in Chinese.
The eighth online lesson was about a refreshment of the Chinese alphabet, characters, and pronunciation of letters and basic simple words. King shared his screen of the ruiwen.com website and he was spelling each letter and its tone, so we can repeat it correctly. I felt that everything was more familiar to me now, but I still need more practice to improve the Chinese language. Everyone from the team followed King’s guidelines by enjoying the practice. Thank you King!! 🙂
After some time we needed to arrive in our home countries, thanks to the zoom application we continue our meetings!! The topic for the seventh meeting was to have an English conversation with our friend King on how China and Cyprus are dealing with Coronavirus nowadays and what we are planning for the summertime after the quarantine period.
King explained that when Chinese people would like to go out, they should always wear masks and have their QR codes with them, providing the names and their contact information as they use them in self-service QR code readers, scanners or POS machines for entry access. Moreover, King’s house is far away from the beach, so he will enjoy the swimming pools during the summertime, and also, he mentioned that he is having an online Finish lesson for improving his skills.
On the other hand, my team said that because Cyprus is an island with many beautiful beaches, we have the opportunity to enjoy the sandy beaches, swim and go fishing during the summer, although we all search for a job as we have to complete our internship. Additionally, we explained to our Chinese friend how the Cyprus government reacts to the virus challenge by locked down, immediate tests, masks, and people asking for permission if they want to go out. Lastly, we are very optimistic that this obstacle will soon be finished and everything will be better than before.
I feel very happy that I have a friend in China, who shares his viewpoints in every question that we ask him!! 🙂
Our sixth meeting, on the 1st of April, was online and funny, since we tried to avoid an ordinary lesson in English by playing a game for interactive learning. The purpose of the game is to practice the English language, the existent knowledge for different words in various categories, such as food, colors, animals and plants and every time you should think faster. There are different levels of the game, like easy, medium and hard! I am glad that we are working as a team, since we were cooperating to find the words of the game and were helping each other. The specific game is called the “Hangman” because when you make six mistakes, it means the team lost and hang, but it is very funny because either you “lose” or you win in the game, you always gain more knowledge for yourself!
On Friday, 27 of March we had our fifth online meeting, focusing on English Speaking. Starting with a description of a movie that we recently watched, such as the story of Edward Snowden or the Korean movie “Boys over flower” and then I and King read English conversations from the “English Speaking Practice” application.
The conversations were funnier than the movie’s descriptions, as we were reading while we were acting. Athina and Panagiotis were listening to myself and our friend King, correcting and showing pictures from Google when unknown or difficult words were arising.
Closing, the fifth meeting helped everyone to improve the English pronunciation and also, learning new vocabulary.
A different but pleasant meeting took place today, 23/03/20 for a special lesson on Chinese. Our friend King was teaching the Cypriot team basic phrases in Chinese and we were also practicing English language for development. We had an imaginary case of a Chinese customer in Cyprus and we were the waitresses (= Fu wu yuan) in a restaurant. So when I go back to Cyprus and I have a Chinese customer I will try to have the following friendly conversation:
- Me: Nihao! Nihaoma? – Hello! How are you?
- C: Wo hen hao. – I am fine.
- Me: Nin gui xing? – What is your last name? (Formal Question)
- C: Wo shi King, ni ne? – I am King, you?
- Me: Wo shi Maria. Hen gao xing ren shi ni. – I am Maria. Nice to meet you.
- C: Ni shin a li ren? – Where are you from?
- Me: Wo shi sai pu lu si ren. – I am from Cyprus.
- C: Ni shi shen me zhuan ye de? – What do you study?
- Me: Wo shi jingli. Wo shi da xue sheng. – I study management. I am college student.
- The customer drinks his wine.
- Me: Gan Bei!! – Cheers
- 2 hours later….
- C: Zai jian Maria!
- Me: Bai bai!
Some Extra Info: Dui or Shi = Yes, Bu Dui or Bushi = No or Isn’t
Thank you so much for this lessons experiences!! 🙂
The third meeting of our cross cultural teaching and learning was located at Ratina shopping mall, in Lidl on Thursday, 12th of March. The concept was totally more interactive than previous meetings that I enjoyed very much and I would like to thank my team of having fun while learning at the same time. Firstly, the Cypriot team were focused on speaking English, specifically conversation and products from the market with our friend King, who would like to practice on oral fluency. On the other hand, King was well responded and then he was sharing back the product name in Chinese, thus we were also be able to practice and listen to our new language. 🙂
Nǐ hǎo! 你好
The second meeting was about learning the Chinese characters, Pinyin and the pronunciation which I found it both attractive but a bit difficult to learn. There are different ways to tone the words and is like singing, because your voice should go from low to high, high to low, high to low and high again or flat voice, depending on the symbol they have above them. Please see an example below:
Furthermore, we have learned the numbers and how to draw them, phrases like “I am Maria” which my name is called “ Maliya” in Mandarin language and also words like “people” which is pronounced “yen”= 人. I found a funny song with Chinese numbers, easy to remember, check this out in the link.
To sum up, it is an awesome experience learning Mandarin from Chinese people who know best! Of course, practice makes perfect! 🙂
In our first awesome meeting we had the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and to share information for Cypriot Culture as well. The meeting took place on Monday 10th of February, at the Tamk cafeteria.
Our Chinese friend and teacher Zonghang – call him King; and his invited friends, they talked about the traditional Festivals, but they described the Spring Festival more which is their grandest one with a 7-day long holiday, every year usually between January 21st and February 20th. The dates are around the Chinese solar term the “Beginning of Spring”, that is why it is called Spring Festival.
Moreover, our Chinese friends shared three “Must” destinations which are Shanghai, Beijing and Cheng Du and then, we have talked about their Traditional food. They showed to us many pictures of their delicious food, referring that with every dish there is also rice accompaniment. Additionally, they reassured that not everyone in China eats dogs, cats, snakes and insects but only a small group of people in South China. On the other hand, there are some Chinese who loves a specific type of bug that is “cicada”. Lastly, they have explained about the 56 Dynastic ethnic groups, showing to us pictures!
The Cypriot team, we found it wise to show Cyprus in the map, since it is a beautiful island in Mediterranean Sea, which unfortunately is not so famous, although it is a tourist destination and there are amazing places to visit because it is a combination of sea, mountains and a shiny sun, almost all year round. Talking about Cyprus traditional food was a pleasure, since there is none, local or tourist, who can forget the rich super flavours of our cuisine. We love Food!! For instance, “souvla”, “ofton kleftiko”, “koupepia”, special recipe of oven pasta etc.
Lastly, I believe that both groups we have enjoyed this interesting meeting!
Thank you everyone! 🙂