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Integrated Cultural Learning Experience for ES Students

All of the Grade Four students were involved in a cultural discovery field trip on March 26, which turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day in the neighborhood. Students wanted to gather information about the local neighborhood to share with other students and families that may be moving to Shanghai. Each class was divided into small groups to work on creating promotional videos, using iMovie, to show people where they would be living and many of the wonderful things available just outside their gate.

Each group had at least one proficient Mandarin speaker that could help communicate with some of the local people, possibly for an interview, if the opportunity arose. iPads were used to produce video clips and take pictures along the way.

Taking different routes throughout the neighborhood for 90 minutes, small groups worked their way to the Carrefour on Biyun Lu for lunch, accompanied by the entire Mandarin teaching staff, and practiced ordering in Mandarin.

The Purpose of the field trip:

  • Students would continue to explore how culture influences the way people adapt to a new location.
  • Students would explore how happiness and wellness are connected to a location.
  • Students would use digital media appropriately to communicate with future Concordia students.
  • Students would use their Mandarin language skills for interviewing and/or to order food at a local restaurant.

Whenever an interesting location or point of interest would pop up, students would take short video clips and/or pictures to use in their iMovie. They needed at least one clip in Mandarin, either from a Mandarin teacher or a stranger they may possibly meet on the street. A sample of some of the basic questions being asked of adults, parents, Mandarin teachers, and the students themselves were:

  • What do you like about living in Shanghai, and why?
  • What are some of the challenges that you faced when you first came to Shanghai? How did you overcome these challenges?
  • What are some of the positive aspects of the culture in Shanghai?

There are so many wonderful things about Shanghai that were discovered, things that we often take for granted: safety, street ayis, guarded housing, beautiful parks, public recreation, friendly people, wonderful food, and of course, so much more.

Teachers received amazing feedback for the community letting us know that the students were very respectful, responsible, polite, and grateful. It was a fabulous experience for all.