China Summer Language Program – University of Notre Dame



>> John: I am doing a summer class in Beijing. >> Margaret: I'm in Beijing for eight weeks for the Summer Language Abroad program. [Music, classroom sounds] >>Margaret: We are learning the Chinese language
intensely. We try to practice speaking Chinese as much as possible every day
with each other with the locals. >> John: From eight to noon we have class where we work with teachers to work on pronunciation or vocab or grammar. >> Margaret: We have dialogues that we read and we practice speaking them over and over again to grow more comfortable using these
grammar structures. [Instructor calls on Margaret. Margaret speaks Chinese.] >>Margaret: The Chinese classes here are…very intense. It definitely challenges you and pushes you to
keep asking questions and get around maybe some language barriers. [Female instructor speaking Chinese] >>John: Later in the day we have a one-on-one session where we really
work with an individual teacher and they help us with our own problems a bit more, so pronunciation for me. [Instructor speaks word in Chinese. John carefully repeats it.] >> John: It's a four-tonal language and I'm pretty sure I'm tone deaf which gives me a lot of trouble. >> Margaret: You can say the same word four different ways and it will mean four different things. That's definitely been one of the most
difficult parts of the language and coming here, my tones have definitely
improved a lot. >> John: We try and learn the language and then also immerse ourselves as much as possible in it and in the culture. [Music, sound of rain] >> Margaret: This past weekend we had the opportunity to go to Shanghai. >> John: We got to go to a place called Yu Garden. >> Margaret: They have gorgeous architecture from the Qing and Ming dynasties… >> John: …which was very, very beautiful, even in the rain and typhoon that came with us. [Music, sound of rain] >> Margaret: Afterward we went to a Buddhist temple and saw all the beautiful sculptures which is really very fascinating. Living
in Beijing definitely was very intimidating at first, but I've definitely grown more accustomed to the culture here. >> John: It's really fun to be able just hop on the subway and within 30 minutes be at Tiananmen or some really cool places and I really just enjoy having
lots to do right at your fingertips. Studying Chinese opens the door to
different ways of thinking. >> Margaret: Especially since our world is so connected, we're such a global world,
it's really important to try to understand other people's cultures and
language and I think getting to study abroad is so important because you won't
really ever understand another culture fully until you're living in that culture. >> John: To come to
Beijing this summer I received funding from the Center for the Study of
Languages and Cultures. They helped fund all the students here in Beijing. I don't think I
would have been able to have this opportunity without it. >> John: I'm thrilled. It
helped a lot to be able to come here and study abroad this summer to experience such a great city. >> Margaret: It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come across the world and
live in the Chinese culture.

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