Photo by Morgan Peirce, WTBD China Summer Program
In keeping with Dragons’ approach to authentic interaction and communication between peoples of disparate cultures, college students on this program engage in a unique approach to language study in China. On this month-long summer program, we explore the evolution of Mandarin within historical and cultural contexts, while also experiencing both rural and urban Chinese homestays. These experiences provide unparalleled opportunities for linguistic and cultural immersion in multiple Chinese communities.
We spend nearly two weeks living with families in Bangdong, an ethnically Han village about three hours by road from the small city of Lincang. Located in western central Yunnan Province, this village and is a quiet farming community in the hills above the Lancang (Mekong) River. Most of the residents of Bangdong grow and process tea, a product with a long history in Yunnan, with some now shifting their attention to coffee beans. While in Bangdong, we live with homestay families (one student per home), help with household chores and tea production, and join in the routines of the village. During this first portion of the program, our group learn about regional economy, impacts on the local environment, and contemporary social issues like rural-to-urban migration. This learning comes alive through experiencing and observing village life. Our schedule includes daily Mandarin classes (3-4 hours of instruction per day), with classes often held outdoors or in the courtyards of village homes.
In addition, we also will dive into extended homestays with urban Chinese families in the accessible, dynamic city of Kunming. The urban homestay experience provides a stunning contrast to the slower-paced, more traditional lifestyle of the villages; these two very different homestays combine to provide us with a balanced and authentic China experience. While in Kunming, we take advantage of the myriad cultural and educational resources that this dynamic city has to offer. We meet daily at the Dragons Program House for continued Mandarin instruction and classes with local professors, NGO workers, business professionals, artists, musicians and practitioners of traditional healing arts.
On this language program, we combine in-depth and rigorous language study with out-of-the-classroom experiential activities. With carefully selected Mandarin language resources, teachers craft relevant lessons to build upon each student’s individual explorations of the language while placing the meaning of language in cultural context. Our instructors offer precise, relevant language guidance while also providing a vision that encompasses the broad scope of this program’s ultimate goals of linguistic, cultural, and personal discovery.
Course Descriptions: Students choose one of the 4-credit Mandarin language courses listed below
This course introduces students to more challenging standard Mandarin Chinese language material in order to establish a solid foundation for the use of the language. Students in this course focus on building on past language exposure to improve speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students expand their oral expression abilities by increasing vocabulary, improving understanding of grammar concepts, strengthening pronunciation abilities, focusing on listening comprehension, and building on previously studied Chinese characters. This course introduces new language concepts to allow students to speak about topics pertaining to their daily lives and also focuses on deepening knowledge of Chinese culture and customs. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to engage in basic daily conversations, read simple texts, and write for daily needs. In-class activities and course assignments aim to assist students as they develop the ability to appropriately use language and improve proficiency. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
This course is designed to develop advanced skills in standard Mandarin Chinese language and is intended for students with extensive prior exposure to the language. This course focuses on consolidating linguistic knowledge and development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students in this course will develop advanced comprehension of and competence in using spoken Mandarin in a wide-variety of experiences. Grammatical functions will be reviewed and incorporated as they relate to particular communication needs. A mix of communicative and interactive methods are used to develop advanced proficiency and materials are drawn from a variety of media sources and texts. In addition, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the Chinese language and culture. By the end of the semester, students are expected to be able to express sophisticated and nuanced ideas both orally and in writing. Out-of-classroom experiences such a field trips and guided interactions with native speakers supplement formal classroom instruction and provide ample opportunities for practical engagement. In addition, language skills gained in this course support students to deepen participation in other program and academic activities such as homestays and the Independent Study Project.
Dates for Summer 2020: July 10 - August 8
|Room & Board:||$940|
|School of Record fee:||$800|
*Tuition includes 4 credit hours plus in-country travel and excursions.
Additionally, you will be responsible for:
|Travel insurance:||Approximately $300|
|Books & supplies:||$100|
If a student chooses a Naropa Sponsored (Dragons) or Affiliated (SIT) programs, he/she may apply for one of Dragons', or SIT scholarships. In addition to those funds, students may apply for one or more of the other general/regional scholarships for Study Abroad.