Feature series: SR in the curriculum
(15 April 2016)
In support of the priority to encourage socially responsible graduates, Humanities provides funding to course leaders through the annual Social Responsibility in the Curriculum competition. The aim is for Humanities students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course.
Each issue we will be featuring a project which has benefited from the competition. This issue, we introduce you to Dr Minjie Xing’s project to foster relations between students and the local Chinese community.
Dr Minjie Xing, from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC), has recently run a project to bring together students and the Manchester Chinese community. Students from the Intermediate Chinese and Advanced Chinese course units took part in the project which saw them engage with native speakers and Chinese culture to help prepare them for their year abroad.
The project took place across semester one to help the students build up their confidence in intercultural communications. Students met with Chinese students from across the University for an Icebreaker Activity and then became language partners who met once a week to carry out language and cultural learning activities. They then visited local Chinese families, reading Chinese picture books to children and chatting to the parents. There was also a China Day which included activities such as paper cutting and calligraphy, all designed to help the students better understand Chinese norms and customs. Finally, students showcased their learning activities in the form of self-made mini videos, audios, social media communications and presentations.
The aim of the module is to ensure that students make a full contribution to Chinese society when they travel there on their year abroad. It also aims to give students a better understanding of Chinese culture and social norms as well as encouraging students to build links with the local Chinese community both at the University and in Greater Manchester.
Students enjoyed the course, with two participants commenting: “The funding provided made me feel really proud of my language partner project and helped me contextualize my learning” and. “The hands-on experience pushed us to learn and practise our Chinese as much as possible”.