This Thursday the Mandarin department were thrilled to take Year 7-10 students on a field trip to Zhujiazhao, one of the many beautiful water towns that can be found within easy reach of Shanghai. The town developed during the Song and Yuan dynasties, before being completed during the Ming period. As well as various language-learning activities, our trip aimed to introduce students to cultural and historical features of ancient Shanghai and water town culture in Southern China.

After arriving at Zhujiajiao students took a group photo before heading off to the Ke Zhi Yuan, a traditional style garden built in 1912. In small groups, students undertook a photo challenge, having to search for various significant locations in the garden. Strolling around the rest of the town with their teacher, groups then completed several activities in their booklet, which included searching for different types of food and communicating with vendors. Our students enjoyed interviewing members of the public and it was great to see them put their hard work in Mandarin to use in the outside world. They also quizzed native Mandarin speakers on their relationship to the water town and its history, getting feedback from their interviewees on pronunciation, fluency and comprehension.

After lunch it was time to get back on the bus and head back into town. After so long without being able to go on a field trip it was a wonderful experience to take our students off-site and the Mandarin department are looking forward to the next time we are able to it again!