Monthly Archives: December 2011

Human Library


Have a look at this newspaper article. Freaking cool….

Human Library

Particularly with my older students, I’m always harping about being creative and thinking beyond the school work.

I’ve pared the article down to something simpler that we can use with our students (Level 3).

Human Library
(人) (图书馆)

Li Xingning always dreamed of being a librarian. This Christmas, her dream came true, only her books are real people.

Beijing’s first human library opened Saturday, December 24, 2011, with many readers and six “living books” exchanging (交换) stories and ideas.

In a human library, the “books” are real people who talk to the “readers”. They tell interesting stories about their lives. The readers get to know who the “books” are and the way they live.

Some of the “books” in the human library are a musician (音乐家), a housewife (家庭主妇) and an architect (建筑师).

Li Xingning says there will be at least one “human book” at the library every day. But the readers can’t take the book out of the library!

The library also has an online version, so people outside Beijing can share their stories.




Culture clash is, I think, one of the biggest challenges we have to deal with.  (Okay, that and kids playing video games during class. 🙂 )  While we want to expose the students to our culture, there’s that fine line between exposure and shock.  Canadian culture can seem very pessimistic to a Chinese person.

These two articles show the difference in perspective between Canadian culture and Chinese culture.  While we may have preference for one standard or the other, the fact is that we – for all intents and purposes – spend our morning in China.  It’s in our best interest to maintain the Chinese perspective because that’s what our students will most easily comprehend.

178 children rescued in 2 child trafficking cases

China busts massive child trafficking networks

Games (Kid-Approved)


English Vocabulary – Hangmouse is the perennial favourite, beloved by boys of all ages; Match Game for younger kids and lower levers; Wordsearch for girls; Crossword for higher levels (try the Antonym Wordsearch for Metasino Level 3+).

Free Rice – English Vocabulary, English Grammar, Basic Math, World Capitals.  During World Cup Soccer, try Flags of the World.

BookWorm – you can turn off the hideous worm voice with the button in the lower left-hand corner.



I love having lunch with you guys…

Here are some of the websites that were mentioned yesterday:

Spelling City

British Council

North Pole (a Christmas site)


We were also talking about the music the kids like.  If you can get videos to work, you can play these things on YouTube; if not, you can just help them understand the lyrics.  If they know the song, even just reading the lyrics will help them with syntax, etc.

Michael Jackson – Kids of all ages listen to him: he’s a musical deity in China.  Try the popular ones like Thriller, Beat It, Man In The Mirror.

Avril Lavigne – Teenagers like her (but be careful with some of her lyrics).  Alice is a safe bet.

Justin Bieber – if you have a girl in your class, she’s probably a Belieber.  The boys like him, too.  Try Baby, Eenie Meenie and Never Let You Go.

Thousand Foot Krutch – they’re not overly popular in China, but one of my students got into them, and now the whole class likes them.  They’re a Christian group, so a couple of the songs might have one-too-many references to God but there’s nothing otherwise offensive.  Try Art of Breaking.