Language Tutoring 语言辅导
Each semester our students utilize tutoring sessions contigent upon the areas they wish to emphasize, such as pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and speaking. For the first three weeks, everyone preferred
to use our Study Center space for the tutorial sessions. I am sure once our students have known the campus well enough they will find other space and time on campus to meet with their tutors. All our tutors are graduate students. Unlike other Chinese university campuses, the Minzu University has a diverse
student body; So, our tutors are not necessarily all Han Chinese. For instance we have a Kazak tutor. Her command of Chinese, English, and German is way above average college students of Han Chinese origin. Our U.S. students are immersed in a culturally diverse learning environment. I took the opportunity to take a few photos of this week’s tutoring session with my old Rolleiflex, a twin-lens reflex camera.
Dance class 舞蹈课
Our dance class is closely connected with our Visual Anthropology of Contemporary China. Our focus is on the relation between China’s multiculturalism/nationalism and performing arts. So we chose dance as one of the primary expressive forms of China’s staged multiculturalism. Performing arts during Mao era was clearly set as an instrument of the state for the purpose of disemminating the state ideology and constructing the collective national identity of socialist China. So nationalism in the history of the PRC has been “artfully” expressed to what Mao referred to as “the masses” or the nameless common people. In this sense a modern nation like PRC is imagined as a prominent scholar remarked. Our dance aims to give our U.S. students enough somatic experiences of China’s multiculturalism by learning a few dance forms that ere used to propagate both ideological and national unity of all ethnic groups in China. Students are enjoying it. At present students are learning Yang-ge, a folk dance originated from Northeast China but popular now in most parts of China. Our dance class instructor is a great dancer and choreographer who graduaded from the Minzu University’s College of Dance.
A taste of home away from home
As Resident Director, I always feel very happy when my students invite me out to explore the city together. Beijing is indeed an international city. Many parts of it resemble an American city with the same stores and shops like Starbucks and Baskin Robins. So we had icecream together at Baskin Robins downtown. It was a great experience to read icecream menu in Chinese.