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Chinese Puppets and Noodles

Chinese cuisine is widely different in all parts of China, with different variations of taste and flavor for common ingredients. For today’s cultural exploration class, Ni Laoshi’s class learned about Xi Hongshi Ji Dan Mian (Noodles with Tomatoes and Eggs) and Cold Noodles. After tasting the noodles, the students got cool popsicles to balance out the heat. That afternoon, students, RAs, and teachers alike saw a performance from puppeteer, Zhang Laoshi. Zhang Laoshi gave students an exquisite look at both Chinese and Western story telling with the use of puppets. 

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting!

In the Chinese Academy evening assembly yesterday, the ancient art of Kung Fu took center stage as students performed a series of different skits. After viewing a kung fu performance earlier in the day, students were itching to test out their own kung fu skills. Students wrote skits during the day and incorporated new vocabulary acquired in class as well as what they saw in the performance. The final product turned out to be a hilarious couple of minutes full of crowd-pleasing stunts and an impressive use of language.

-Colin Edwards, Program Assistant

Smooth Sailing at Swarthmore

It’s Thursday of the second week, and all’s well here at Swarthmore. The students are definitely getting more and more accustomed to MMLA life by the day. Working hard in class and playing hard during activities is really helping to solidify friendships and language ability alike.

Gaining Invaluable Language Experience by Exploring the Summer Palace

Sunday was another day out in Beijing, and our destination was the Summer Palace. Basically a huge park, the Summer Palace is a mix of natural landscapes and man-made features. We entered from the North gate, meaning we had to tackle Longevity Hill before we made it to the Summer Palace’s most notable feature: Kunming Lake. While on the hill, students explored the various pavilions,temples and bridges – of course, we took advantage of these great photo opportunities.

Big Moves: Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) at Swarthmore

In one of our afternoon activities, students learned  about Chinese Chess orxiangqi in today’s class with Xie Laoshi! From pao to bing to ma and ju, we learned how to hold our own against the best! Whether in China or beyond, this classic game is a past time that we’ll now all be able to enjoy!

Sound of Music: Chinese Academy Uses Tunes to Learn

Whether you’ve studied Mandarin for ten years, or have never heard Chinese in your life, music is a medium that seems to bring everyone together. After a long day inside and outside of the classroom, there is no better way to bring the day to a close than through song. We’re just a little over a week in and have a vast repertoire of original material, which range in topics from weather to daily greetings.

Chinese Academy Enjoys Traditional Dance Performance

Last night, Chinese Academy students got the chance to enjoy a night of traditional Chinese dance. The performance kicked off in high gear, with several dancers dressed up as giant animals! Students and staff alike sat enthralled by the vibrant colors of the costumes and elegance of the many dances. The variety of different dances ensured that there was something for everyone to enjoy, and plenty of variety to go around. By the end of the night, the Chinese Academy was treated to a truly wonderful sampling of Chinese culture.

-Lindsay Call, Program Assistant

Weekend Excursion to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

When you hear Beijing, there are two places sure to come to mind: Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. For our first weekend in Beijing we decided to bring the students to these incredible sights as a great way to understand Chinese history and culture.

French and Chinese Academies Enjoy Activity Time

Activity time yesterday was a blast for both the French and Chinese Academies! The French Academy took advantage of the shaded quad near Smith Campus Center and played some games on the lawn. Students hung out and competed as the late afternoon sun streamed through the trees, creating a picturesque scene.

The Chinese Academy opted to stay inside. Working on verbal communication, the students laughed and enjoyed the air conditioning.

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