Category Archives: China and Chinese Society

The Light at the End of the Tunnel


Beijing has introduced some new guidelines regarding quantities of homework and the frequency of exams.  This article explains the new rules.

Of course, these rules don’t necessarily take into account the competition that’s still in place: it’s fine to do without homework, but will students still be able to get into good schools, etc?  Some of the parents and teachers don’t think so.

I do have two Beijing students whose schools are making a serious effort to reduce “make work” homework and unnecessary tests.  These students are noticeably more… interesting than the other students, as they have more time to explore their own interests.  They do, however, complain about their homework as much as the other students do. 🙂


Jeremy Lin


For those of you with basketball fans, Jeremy Lin is the latest replacement for Yao Ming (who is retired).  North American Chinese are more interested in him (he was born in the US) but Chinese Mainlanders are slowly getting hooked.

The new fan word is “Lin-sanity”.  My level 3/4 students like the pun.

There are some articles about him here and here.

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