China Team Journal

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome team #202!

“Welcome, Global Volunteers, Team #202” read the sign in the lobby of the Golden Spring Hotel in Kunming, Yunnan Province. “Welcome back - Leon, Dixie, Jim, Nancy and Esther!” would be appropriate for this team, as we are all veterans of the G.V. Conversational English program in Southwestern China.

Baoli welcomed us warmly at our morning Orientation meeting. We met to establish team goals and define the characteristics of an effective team. Under Baoli’s guidance, we five considered ways to maximize learning opportunities for the students’ in this two-week program. We are anxious to provide the teachers an experience that will result in a significant improvement in their English-speaking.

In our meeting with Baoli, we came up with the following:


1.     Dancing/games

2.     Powerpoint lectures

3.     Break-out sessions, with topics such as:

Pronunciation - led by Nancy

Songs, movement games - led by Dixie

Foreign words in English - led by Jim

Idioms and slang - led by Leon

The language of American Politics - led by Esther

Breakout session topics might also be: phrasal verbs, tongue twisters (ràokǒulìng), grammar, or topics suggested by the students.

The students will write down first, second and third choice of topics, and will be assigned a Break-out session to attend.


Declaration of Independence

Have each of the 4 classes read aloud a section of the Declaration of Independence and explain what the language in that section means.


60 students, 4 classes.

Nancy will be the “Rover” or “Floater” who teaches short lessons and activities in each of the four class groups. She will help us coordinate the repertoire of songs, so that we all can sing together during the Sharing Session on the last day.

Our Sunday of Orientation ended with a fine banquet in our honor at a Muslim restaurant. The hosts were Mr. Chen, the Dean of the College of Continuing Education of Kunming University, Mr. Zhang, the Associate Dean, Ms. Chen, Director of International Relations, and our old friend Li Baokun (Chris) of the Teacher Training Center.

Chris informed us that our students will be from villages surrounding Kunming: 30 primary teachers and 30 middle school teachers. He also said that there will be a field trip on Tuesday of the second week to see the new campus of the University.

We appreciated the toasts and the selection of dishes served at the banquet: hǎochī! (tasty, or good eats!). The private room in the restaurant had an opulent decor, with blue velvet upholstery on high-backed “throne-style” chairs, a large chandelier, and an electric “lazy susan” rotating the 13 dishes past us.

Kunming, we are happy to return!

- Dixie