Laughter and fun were heard throughout the Chinese Language and Culture Centre (CLC) as they hosted the ‘CLC Chinese Talent Show’ where Chinese language learners all took part in performances on 4 December. CLC also celebrated the launch of their new book ‘Learn Chinese Travel China’.

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Group photo of participants, attendees and staff for the CLC Chinese Talent Show

International students, foreign interns and other international Chinese language learners came together to take part in the exciting event. The hosts for the talent show were CLC lecturer Ms Angela Liu and Whole Person Education Office (WPEO) Foreign Intern Mr Thomas Ritthaler.

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Mr Thomas Ritthale (left) and Ms Angela Liu (right) hosting the talent show

The participants of the talent show have all spent time over the semester studying different courses provided by CLC. These courses include Elementary Chinese, Intermediate Chinese, Advanced Chinese, Easy Steps to Chinese Pinyin, Easy Steps to Chinese Characters, Learn Chinese and Travel China and HSK.

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 UIC Chinese language learners attend the show

The talent show began with a game they play music and the attendees ‘pass the toy’ and whoever has the toy when the music stops has to perform a Chinese tongue twister. This was followed by three exchange students from Thailand singing the Chinese song ‘How much I love you’.

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Chinese tongue twister

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Three Thailand exchange students singing a Chinese song

A presentation about Chinese Characters was given by two interns from the US, which introduced different strokes and styles of the characters. After the presentation, the attendees took part in Pictionary where one person drew the object and their partner had to guess the answers in Chinese.

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Chinese Pictionary

The Elementary Chinese language class performed ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ where the students danced and sang along with the song, which received a strong supportive reaction from the attendees.

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Elementary Chinese language class performing ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’

CLC Associate Professor Dr Jenny Cui explained that the ‘Chinese talent show’ is a kind of teaching activity based on the pedagogy of performing another culture. “In singing Chinese songs, performing sitcoms, talk shows and other forms of exhibitions (such as new book promotion), I hope learners can not only experience Chinese culture but also further understand Chinese culture in performances. In addition, I also wish they have a lot of fun from it!”

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Thomas Ritthale and Shien Zheng Goh performing a Chinese talk show sketch

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Chinese language learners give a presentation about Chinese characters

Regarding the talent show CLC lecturer Ms Candy Cai said “If you give the students the space of creativity, they will bring a world to the audience which is full of surprises. They learned they engaged, they enjoyed. Best wishes to all the exchange students in their future.”

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Chinese language learners perform songs and sketches throughout the talent show

Others Chinese language classes performed talk shows, short drama plays as well as singing famous Chinese songs. Throughout the show, there was a lucky raffle draw where people could win some cool prizes, which included bags, books and Chinese shadow puppetry.

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CLC Instructor Ms Michelle Wang Wenqian presents gifts to the raffle winners

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Ms Cai presents gifts to the raffle winners

ELC lecturer Mr Samuel Gates won first prize in the raffle, where he received a 3D night light from the Chinese National Museum from Dr Jenny Cui.

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 Dr Cui (left) rewarding Mr Samuel Gates (right) with the first prize


New book to learn Chinese

CLC had another reason to celebrate because of their highly anticipated book ‘Learn Chinese Travel China’ has been published and is now available for online shopping platforms as well as UIC’s bookshop.

‘Learn Chinese Travel China’ is a book created by the CLC that targets Chinese language learners who are interested in Chinese society and culture as well as being able to read 300 or more basic Chinese characters. The topics in the book centre on the features of some Chinese cities and travel experiences that are suitable for readers of different ages. As a novel Chinese textbook, it appeared on the display of China International Publishing Group in Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, October 2019.


The cover and inside page of CLC's new book

“This book might be helpful for Chinese language learners who want to know more about China's beautiful scenery, food, interesting places and Chinese people's leisure life, and also hope to learn some practical Chinese and useful information,” Dr Cui, the lead author of this book, described and said. “I would like to thank in particular the colleagues who participated in compiling this book and the learners who attended the class. I hope every reader of this book will read with pleasure.”

The book consists of 15 lessons and it introduces some of China's most popular cities and sites including Guangzhou, Xi’an, Huangshan Mountain and Harbin. Each lesson consists of a cultural overview, two texts along with new words, supplementary vocabulary, language points, text exercises, and extended activities. While the final part of each lesson provides supplementary introductions and travel information. The content of each lesson is relatively independent of the other lessons, but common words reappear, which helps learners familiarise themselves with and help them master that vocabulary.

ELC Lecturer Jacob Algorim attended the talent show and expressed that “It was a great show of what students and interns have learned this semester”. Regarding the book that he had helped produce content for, Mr Algorim said: “I'm also really excited that the book we worked so hard on has now been published, and enjoyed the promotional videos they have prepared for it.”

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Jacob Algorim (second from left) is thanked by CLC for his input with the new book

This book has received positive feedback from the learners who used it as the textbook in the Learn Chinese and Travel China class.

“If you are looking to learn Mandarin and travel around China, I would highly recommend this book. Not only do you get to learn about these wonderful locations, but you also get to learn sentence structure, language points and important daily word usage that you don’t really see in any other Chinese learning textbook. I have found that for me so far that this textbook is the only one that can keep my interest and focus due to the constant flow of new materials and sources. All in all, I highly recommend this textbook to anyone who has a vast interest in China,” explained DST foreign intern Baou Lee.


 Dr Cui (middle) and Ms Cai (right) presenting the book to well-known French Sinologist Prof Joël Bellassen (left)

DHSS lecturer Johanna Metivier thinks the book is really interesting. She said “I like the part about visiting the different areas of Guangdong. I think the vocabulary and grammar are complete and useful.”

DHSS foreign intern Rowan McCaffery said “Learn Chinese Travel China is very clear to understand and combines the different elements of Chinese that are important for learning at an intermediate level. The theme of a city per chapter is very interesting and is enjoyable to learn. The vocabulary is challenging but relevant and the exercises are quick and effective.”

Overall the talent show was well received and enjoyed by all, while the celebration of the new book by CLC proved to be popular with the readers.

Reporter/Photographer: Samuel Burgess
Editors: Deen He
(from MPRO with thanks to the ELC)