Six local educators will be traveling to China this summer to teach summer school in Beijing, reports Dr. Jim Roberts, Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent.
The Chinese Education Connection, an organization based on the north side of Indianapolis, is facilitating the activity in cooperation with Kappa Delta Pi, the international education honorary, and the University of Science and Technology Beijing.
The Batesville educators will join 41 others who will be teaching English listening comprehension and conversation to 1,200 students from across China. The students will be matriculating as freshmen at the university in Beijing or at associated universities throughout the country. Students were selected by test scores, and their tuition is financed by the Chinese government.
Chinese public school students begin studying English in the third grade, some even earlier. Although the best students can read and write English by the time they graduate from high school, they often have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding English when it is spoken. The American teachers will be delivering lectures on American culture and will facilitate discussion among the students in smaller groups throughout the 15 days of the summer session.
Included in the experience are tours to the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and nearby port city of Tianjin. The school day ends at 3 p.m., so instructors will have ample time in the evening to explore Beijing and its environs.
Local educators participating are Melisa Burton, Alex Davis, Eric Feller, Karen Salvitti, Grace Kontur and Lisa Horn.
Nicole Batta, a Batesville resident and Greensburg teacher, will also participate in the trip.
Horn noted, “I have never been out of North America, and I am looking forward to traveling to China. What a great opportunity I am getting. I am looking forward to being immersed in the Chinese culture. Being able to see how Chinese students view and work in school is exciting. I will be able to bring back ideas for my students ... and am hoping to come away with new information to share with my colleagues.
“I am a little nervous about the language and speaking with the students. However, after we get there and settled, I know that things will fall into place and the students and I will learn many things from each other.”
CEC and Kappa Delta Pi believe it is important for educators to leave our country to learn about education elsewhere. Teaching Chinese students is a wonderful opportunity.