Connecting classrooms

Great interest of students in the Chinese language!

The students from The Uzice Grammar School will be attending Chinese language classes from March 19th 2012 to December 31st 2012, and if the project succeeds, it will be continued next year!

More than 100 students from our school will be attending Chinese classes from March to December! Our school is one of the 17 schools in Serbia which have applied for the implementation of the project of The Ministry of Education and Science and the People’s Republic of China.
The teacher Yang Nannan says she is ready for the challenge. She is from a town called Jiamusi, from the Northeastern China, which is similar to Belgrade in Serbia. She passed the tests in her native country, and thus qualified for this job.
“I will communicate with the students in English and Chinese, I will also use gesticulation if they don’t understand me. My goal is to teach them the basics of the Chinese language, something about our culture, and China in general. The Chinese language is a lot different from all European languages, it has specific grammar, and, of course, writing, so our letters might look as some kind of drawings to you. But, I believe that everything will be great, and that the students will pass this course with no problems,” says Yang.
Besides Yang, we have interviewed some of our students:
“This is the chance I didn’t want to miss! I hope some day I will go to China. After all, how many languages you speak, that much you are worth. I suppose that Chinese is hard to learn, but I think I will learn it easily,” says Irena.
“Chinese is one of the oldest languages in the world, and it has always been interesting to me. The Chinese contribution to the development of the civilization is immeasurable. I’m just a little bit afraid how I am going to learn their letters. So far, I have been studying English and Russian, and I think I’ll have a great benefit from learning Chinese,” says Aleksa.
“Now, we won’t have to talk to people working in Chinese stores in Serbian, we can talk to them in Chinese, and, who knows, maybe they’ll give us a discount after that!” says Jovana.
Our principal admits that he is surprised by the number of students that want to study Chinese.
“We thought that about 20 students would want to study Chinese, but now we have more than
100 students that applied for the classes, so we had to make some extra effort to organize all of this,” says our principal, Zivojin Pavlovic.
Students are split into five groups. There are two groups from the first grade, one group from the second, and two groups from the third grade. They will learn Chinese through 7th classes.
The entire project is sponsored by the People’s Republic of China. Textbooks expressly arrived from China after signing the memorandum of learning the Chinese language in schools.

Text and photos by Srdjan, 16

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