Students Visit China
By Britney Lewis (16')
In July twelve MNU students, two professors and two sponsors boarded a plane that would take them to Chu Xiong, China. The purpose? Teaching English to students at a summer camp.
The idea to travel to China originally came from Greg and Mackenzie Applebee, Point Loma Nazarene University alums, who needed a few extra hands to work in the English camps they direct in southern China. Biology education major Jamie Furnas was one of the travelers.
“I believe going overseas or to any diverse culture setting develops more effective teachers because you are pushed out of your comfort zone and forced to learn how to connect with a variety of students,” Furnas said.
The Chinese students knew English. In fact, they could read and write in the language exceedingly well. However, speaking the language was more difficult for them because they never learned how to pronounce all the syllables in the English language.
Though Dr. Linda Alexander and Dr. Ramona Stowe, two teacher education professors, accompanied them on the trip, all of the students were not education majors. Some are majoring in ministry, psychology, nursing, criminal justice, and intercultural studies.
“They blended well,” said Stowe. “The students were divided into groups of two and they taught many different oral activities and fun games to the elementary students who rotated in and out of their classrooms.”
Morgan Singleton, an English education major from Neodesha, Kansas said the experience was life changing.
“My view of education has changed greatly because of my time in China,” she said. “I am already looking into going back within the next year. I love China!”
A pivotal moment happened to Singleton on her last day teaching when a student approached her and handed her a small Jiao, paper money worth about 16 cents, folded into a heart.
“Teacher Morgan, I don’t know how to impress you,” the student said when she handed her the paper heart.
“The bill was basically worthless, yet now it is one of my favorite souvenirs from my trip,” said Singleton.
The team traveled around China site seeing as well. They visited several provinces and the Great Wall of China.
Stowe and Alexander are committed to helping MNU teacher candidates become immersed in intercultural experiences and say that it helps them become better teachers. A popular experience they encourage is the student teaching assignment available in Costa Rica each year.
To learn more about teacher education at MNU visit mnu.edu/academics.