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In the last 2 days the main focus of the Teacher Training was on Speaking and Pronunciation.

For the Speaking classes the students played a game called ‘desert island pyramid’. The game goes like this:

  • Each person has to write down 10 things they would take on a deserted island
  • People form pairs and have to pick 10 things from both their lists and agree on it
  • The groups are getting larger and larger till there is only one group with 10 thing they would take on the island

The aim of the game is to argue for the things you want to take but also be able to have a discussion with the group members and come to an agreement.

For the Pronunciation classes the focus was on intonation. Intonation refers to the pitch of the voice going up and down e.g. when you ask questions your voice rises at the end of the sentence. This exercise helps students to become aware of their own voice and how to use tones effectively.

In the afternoon the interns will be learning how to create lesson plans. Many school want to see teacher’s lesson plans to be informed on what the students will be learning or to show it to the parents. On the other hand it helps the teacher to be prepared for a lesson. As an example of a lesson plan, we can provide you with a simple outline of what Aniela has been doing in her Kindergarten classes.

With her 2 – 3 year old kids she’s been playing a lot of games, like Missing Flashcard (put all the flashcards on the blackboard or floor then hide one or more and let the children guess what is missing) and Pictionary. She also recommends dances and songs as warmers because they are really good to get the kids excited about you and the teaching. For teaching at a Kindergarten you mostly use Flashcards to get the words across, which are divided into categories like animals, transportation, food etc. or the Alphabet. All those things need to go into the lesson plan.

Tip of the day

Bargaining is not that difficult once you get the hang of it. You can bargain almost anywhere and on anything in China. People who have been here for a while would pay no more than 50 kuai for shoes and clothes.

  • As a general rule, you can say if you try to bargain for something and you find several shops which don’t go lower than a certain amount it’s okay to pay that price.
  • Get the shopkeeper to state a price first (the first one is usually a ridiculous number especially in Silk Street and Yashow).
  • Watch how much a local pays for the item you want and aim for something around that amount too
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away, even if the shopkeepers try to stop you, that just helps to emphasis that you’re not willing to pay the price they asked you for. They will often yell out lower prices (or maybe insults) the further you walk away.
  • Shop around. Don’t settle for the first shop you see. Many shops often sell the same things and the shops at the back will often offer a better deal.
  • Most importantly, try not to convert prices into your own currency. Things are far cheaper here, so just try how low you can go or apply tip #1.

In the end it’s a question of practice and skill, but here are some places where you can try out our tips and see how far you can get.

Xidan. This shopping district has a number of shopping centers with a variety of fashionable items. There is Joy City which has name brands such as Zara and H&M. There are also local shopping centers in Xidan which are very trendy and you can bargain at. To get to Xidan, catch the Line 1 subway and get off after Tiananmen West station.

Yashow. This huge mall located at Sanlitun is basically the cheaper version of the infamous Silk Street. With its 5 floors, from shoes, clothing up to souvenirs and sports equipment you can get a great bargain on anything. For those who haven’t tried it yet but always wanted to, the manicures and pedicures at Lilly Nails are a nice ending for a long shopping day. They are as cheap as 20 kuai and even Matt is a frequent customer.

Shopping and bargaining

Chinese Characters Pinyin English
多少钱 duō shao qián How much does it cost?
太贵了 taì guì le Too expensive!
便宜一点儿可以吗 piányi yīdiǎn kěyǐ ma Can you let me have it cheaper?
我能试一下吗 wǒ néng shì yīxià ma Can I try it on?
太小/大了 taì xiǎo/taì dà It’s too small/big
请给我发票 qǐng gěi wǒ fāpiào Please give me an invoice
你说多少钱 nǐ shuō duōshaoqián You say how much
我要/不要 wǒ yào/bú yào I want/don’t want it
最便宜 多少钱 zuì piányi duōshaoqián How much is the cheapest price?
我给你 … 块 wǒ gěi nǐ … kuài I will give you … kuai
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