China Team Journal

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kunming-A Place for a Cool Summer and a Warm Heart

(with pictures from the summer programs in 2008)

This is going to be Global Volunteers’s 5th summer in the City of Eternal Spring (Chinese nickname for Kunming). Our hosts are getting excited and prepared to welcome three teams of our volunteers in June,July and August, Team 174, 175 and 176.

Team 174 (starting on June 20th) and Team 175 (starting on July 11th) will work with Kunming Teachers College to help with the Teachers’ Training Program provided by Teachers’ Training Center at the college. As all the teachers are required to take 10-credit training course during the summer to maintain their qualification as government-sponsored teachers, the school campus is always busy with classes filled with teachers. Our program offers the local English teachers an incredibly valuable opportunity to improve their English speaking and listening skills with the help of native English speakers.

The volunteers are paired up to teach a group of 10-12 teachers in small classes in the morning and rotate to hold afternoons sessions with other volunteer team members. While the mornings are focused on English pronunciation, idioms and slangs and speaking skills, the afternoon sessions cater to the teachers’ interest to learn English songs and games, western cultures and western education system, etc. On some afternoons, volunteers and teachers will join a field trip together to Flying Tigers Memorial, a local free market or a city park.

This is truly a program of friendship. During 2-week and 3-week period of time, the volunteers have the same English teaches as their students. They make friends in the classrooms, in the field trips and in friendship activities. The volunteers are often invited by the teachers to their home for tea, dinner, or making dumplings.

Team 175 (starting on August 1st) will have the honor to join a summer camp at Jinyuan (Golden Resource) Century School. The school is located in the biggest and most beautiful apartment complex of Kunming. The school has over 4,000 students enrolled from K to senior high school.

Our volunteers will teach conversational English to children of 12-17 years old. Each of the volunteers will have about 10 students for two-three weeks. The volunteers will teach in the morning for averagely three hours a day. In the afternoons, the volunteers will rotate to teach. Once a week, there will be a field trip planned to generate a more relaxing English learning atmosphere outside of classroom.

This school is directly administrated under Yunnan Provincial Education Bureau, which grants it more autonomous management abilities. After the school extended their invitation to Global Volunteers last summer, we piloted one-week program. It was a wonderful and successful experience for both the school and Global Volunteers.

Please consider joining us in Kunming this summer. Here you will find a cool summer and a warm heart!