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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008


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Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons' 6-week “China: Language Intensive” summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course's Yak board for additional itinerary-related postings and updates.

Weeks One-Two:
Orientation in L.A. Fly to Kunming, the pleasant and laid-back capital of Yunnan Province; begin intensive Mandarin classes, with 4 to 5 hours per day devoted to language study. Settle into home-stays with Chinese families. Work with local mentors on Independent Study Projects. Attend classes with course instructors and guest lecturers at the Dragons Program House on a variety of topics, including: martial arts, painting, calligraphy, Chinese cooking, Traditional Chinese Medicine, history, politics, and economics. Options for intensive, one-on-one language sessions with course instructors and local mentors and/or language exchanges with local students. Weekend outings and activities with home-stay families.

Weeks Three-Four:
Continue with intensive daily Mandarin instruction. Students work together with course instructors to plan approximately 10 days of travel, using their oral language skills to complete practical tasks such as booking hotel rooms, arranging transport and organizing cultural activities. Possible options for the travel portion of the program include: trekking through the stunning Tiger Leaping Gorge to Wenhai Naxi Village and Xuehua Yi Village and ending at Lashihai; taking an overnight train to Guilin in nearby Guangxi Province, which features picture-perfect scenery of rice paddies, winding rivers and towering limestone towers peeking through the mist; or traveling to Chengdu and Xian to visit the Giant Panda Breeding Center and Terracotta Warriors and possibly collaborate with a local NGO on a service project in a community affected by the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Weeks Five-Six:
Rural-based language study and home-stay at Nanyao Village in the Lashihai region of northwest Yunnan; 4 to 5 hours of daily language instruction, plus additional opportunities for one-on-one tutoring sessions. Experience the joys and hardships of rural Chinese life while working in the fields alongside local farmers, learning to make tofu from scratch or attending a local celebration or festival; teach English at a local primary school; meet with representatives from local NGOs, such as The Nature Conservancy, to learn about social and environmental issues and initiatives; work on a village-based community service project; teach English to local schoolchildren; spend weekends biking to a local Buddhist monastery or hiking to a picnic spot overlooking the Yangzi River with home-stay siblings; lose yourself amidst the cobblestone alleys and traditional architecture of the nearby Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; explore the effects of mass tourism on the local people, culture and environment. Complete independent study work and present on projects. Return to Kunming; Fly to Beijing. In capital city, explore the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. Enjoy evening acrobat performances. Hike along the Great Wall. Final banquet and end-of-program celebration.

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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China Language 6-week: Sample Itinerary

Dragons Administration,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

Following is a sample itinerary for Dragons’ 6-week “China: Language Intensive” summer program. Our sample itineraries are based on past courses; in order to meet instructor team goals, as well as the goals and interests of particular student groups, itineraries are subject to change. Please keep an eye on the course’s Yak board for additional […]

Posted On

10/15/08

Author

Dragons Administration

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Dear China Language 6Wk Parents and Friends,

All ten China Lang 6Wk students who were on the Hong Kong-LA group flight are now back in LA. Liza has already left on her connecting flight back to the East Coast, Charlotte and Alex R.'s parents met them at the airport and the rest of us are staying at the Hacienda Hotel tonight and will fly out tomorrow.

Be Well,

Katie

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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Back in LA

Katie Hagel,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

Dear China Language 6Wk Parents and Friends, All ten China Lang 6Wk students who were on the Hong Kong-LA group flight are now back in LA. Liza has already left on her connecting flight back to the East Coast, Charlotte and Alex R.’s parents met them at the airport and the rest of us are […]

Posted On

08/9/08

Author

Katie Hagel

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Dear China Language 6wk Parents and Friends,

Just to let you know, the China Language 6wk group has made it from Kunming to Hong Kong. Everyone was sad to say goodbye to China and there were more than a few tears when Rachael, Lear and Patrick saw us off at the airport. We've got a five hour layover here in Hong Kong and then we're off again. Fiamma and Vittoria are headed for Zurich and the rest of us are off to LA. I will be staying at the Hacienda Hotel in LA with the five students who aren't flying out of LA until tomorrow. I will post another Yak once we've all landed in LA.

Be Well,

Katie

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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On Our Way Home

Katie Hagel,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

Dear China Language 6wk Parents and Friends, Just to let you know, the China Language 6wk group has made it from Kunming to Hong Kong. Everyone was sad to say goodbye to China and there were more than a few tears when Rachael, Lear and Patrick saw us off at the airport. We’ve got a […]

Posted On

08/8/08

Author

Katie Hagel

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hi all,

yesterday spending most of the day we finally arrived at Tian tou zhai, a yao viliage which has more than 700 years of history. i was told that this village has about 3000 people living here, mostly are Yao minority. i noticed that all women in this region carry super long hair. it is considered the beauty of a women.

everyone of in the group likes this place since we did not found many tourist coming to this place. we are planing to stay here for two night, during daytime we are going to go hiking and trekking, everyone , everyone is excited because they thought they are going to enjoy the beauty of natural and will have opportunities to take some great pictures!

check out these pictures! i m sure you will like this place like everyone here in the group does.

Lear

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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Tian tou zhai, a breath taking beautiful place

Lear,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

hi all, yesterday spending most of the day we finally arrived at Tian tou zhai, a yao viliage which has more than 700 years of history. i was told that this village has about 3000 people living here, mostly are Yao minority. i noticed that all women in this region carry super long hair. it […]

Posted On

08/2/08

Author

Lear

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on our last night in Nan Yao, we had a party and learned traditional Naxi dances. The dances are all done in a large circle, holding hands. the music has a constant beat and a simple rythm, but the steps are unpredictable. they switch randomly, falling on the off-beat of the song. the women pull you around,arms keeping rythm while your feet fly up and down, trying to keep up.

here in yangshuo, the tourist-choked city gives way to alien-like views. i look out the window and am suddenly in a Dr. Suess book. this country has so many mysteries and half the joy of china is not figuring them out. Kayaking down the Li River or biking through tiny paths between rice paddies gives time toreflect and appreciate the remarkable landscape we are in.

the skyline here is like a heart monitor when you are excited. erratic jumps rising from nowhere and dissapearing just as quickly. the past 5 weeks have opened my mind. it's time to go with the flow. I'll take China, and life as it comes. when mountains grow in cities, it's hard to take yourself so seriously.

it's time to dance on the off beat.

-lgb-

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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we’re alive, i promise

Liza Brecher,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

on our last night in Nan Yao, we had a party and learned traditional Naxi dances. The dances are all done in a large circle, holding hands. the music has a constant beat and a simple rythm, but the steps are unpredictable. they switch randomly, falling on the off-beat of the song. the women pull […]

Posted On

08/1/08

Author

Liza Brecher

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Check out our Naxi dancing party with the local lashi women!
at the end of our homestay in Naxi village , we thrown an party at one of the students homestay family. we had speakers and music system on , play both American music and local Naxi music, locals were invited to dance with the American students. and the locals also invited our students to dance with them , our girl students all dressed up in traditional Naxi clothes, they looked so pretty on our students!
the dancing party last for 3hours starting from 8 pm, at the end of the party the students and the instructors , Chinese language teachers all gave a big thank to the homestay families for taking good care of us!
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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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Check out our Naxi dancing party with the local lashi women!

Lear,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

Check out our Naxi dancing party with the local lashi women! at the end of our homestay in Naxi village , we thrown an party at one of the students homestay family. we had speakers and music system on , play both American music and local Naxi music, locals were invited to dance with the […]

Posted On

07/31/08

Author

Lear

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here we arrived in Yangshuo , start our last part of the program, to see the nice countryside and other parts of China,
we are planing to do the hiking, trekking and so many other nice activities around this area. going to be a big fun!
check out this beautiful place we are staying!
by the way , we are staying in a nice village with a nice homestay mother! nice food as well!
Lear
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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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here we are! Yangshuo!

Lear,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

here we arrived in Yangshuo , start our last part of the program, to see the nice countryside and other parts of China, we are planing to do the hiking, trekking and so many other nice activities around this area. going to be a big fun! check out this beautiful place we are staying! by […]

Posted On

07/30/08

Author

Lear

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service project: building a pigsty
the students went up to a mountain peak that is about 4000 meters hight, a yu vilage. students were work hard on constructing the pig sty and the family which we were helping killed two chickens and cooked for our students, as a way of expressing their appreciation towards our American students. hopefully they will start feed the pigs soon so that they can get better meal on their tables everyday.
Lear
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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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service project: building a pig sty

Lear,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

service project: building a pigsty the students went up to a mountain peak that is about 4000 meters hight, a yu vilage. students were work hard on constructing the pig sty and the family which we were helping killed two chickens and cooked for our students, as a way of expressing their appreciation towards our […]

Posted On

07/30/08

Author

Lear

WP_Post Object
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    [post_date] => 2008-07-26 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => 

Before leaving Nanyao for Kunming, we spent one hour debriefing our Chinese language class, we reviewed the topics that we covered and figured out the topic that we should spend more time to work on. we have now come to the point where the students will have to totally stand on their on( in terms of planing and organizing the traveling part) . from this debriefing we have make our language goal super clear to everyone that each of the students will have to use their Chinese in Oder to survive here in China, a country that Chinese is spoken.

i shared a great story and a old saying with the students about their language study. one is about the fish man, " if you give a man a fish , you will feed him a day, if you teach him how to fish, then you CAN GIT RID OF HIM" and the old Chinese saying goes: " To learn but no to use, is a waste of time, to use but not to learn is dangerous!

im hoping that our students will practice more their Chinese by encountering with all difficult situations that made because of the language difficulties and , by being forced to use Chinese to get by in China they will develop the real confidence in applying the language which is spoken by one - forth of the world`s population.

Kai kou shuo hanyu!!! is the goal and will always be the goal for our students

Lear

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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we want to teach our students how to fish

Lear Li,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

Description

Before leaving Nanyao for Kunming, we spent one hour debriefing our Chinese language class, we reviewed the topics that we covered and figured out the topic that we should spend more time to work on. we have now come to the point where the students will have to totally stand on their on( in terms […]

Posted On

07/26/08

Author

Lear Li

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Having spent 2 weeks in NanYao, a Naxi dominated village in rural Yunnan, I have been inspired by the more simple, less materialistic lifestyle of the people. As compared to the Wu family, my homestay family in Kunming, the Li Guang family in NanYao had a pre-modern, Chinese way of life. They grew the majority of their own food, they reused many supplies, had a very evident sense of community that included literally everyone in NanYao, and were much more in touch with their past and heritage in an ever more modern China. This existence appealed to me greatly after spending time in Kunming and LiJiang which are very similar to your average American city. The Li Guang's were less obsessed with keeping up with their "Western Joneses" unlike the Wu's who had many modern amenities in their apartment and whose daughter was a subscriber to the everpresent Chinese love of white people and white culture. The Li Guang's were not fully exempt from China's modernization by any means (they had a television that recieved broadcasts from all over China,) but they were not part of the rat race in China that cannot be ignored. It was encouraging to see people in China who enjoy their own culture, instead of rejecting their own for one that originated on the other side of the globe. Although I love aspects of my own culture, such as free speech and freedom of choice, personally, I think the world would be a better place if people lived in societies such as that of the Naxi in NanYao.

As a perfect juxtoposition, when we visited LiJiang, I was deeply disturbed by the shameless adaption of, in my mind, the most disgusting part of Western culture, the exploitation of minority cultures for monetary gain. In LiJiang, which was the main Naxi city in China for many years, there is a section called the old town, which is not dissimilar to Disney Land, but with a sinister undertone of cultural destruction. There is store after store filled with the same merchandisem, most of which has absolutely nothing to do with Naxi culture. There were ugly trinkets that can be purchased in the Bahamas and South and Central America and heads of Native American Chiefs that could be found in America on reservations. These nonsensical items were devoured by Han and foreign tourists, despite their obvious irrelevancy. These tourists were lead around the old town by Han girls in Naxi dress and most of the stores were owned by non-Naxi people. The similarities to resort towns all over the Western world were obvious. As we walked through this overcrowded wasteland of loss of authenticity, I began to lose faith in China and a little bit in humanity as a whole, but then we returned to our temprorary families in NanYao and my spirits were instantly lifted. Being in a place so attached to nature and that has a real, evident soul was refreshing. Just sitting down to dinner with the Li Guang family, eating simple food and just enjoying each other's company in their partially unroofed kitchen made me feel like I was on the right side of China's Coin.

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China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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Living on Both Sides of China’s Coin

Wyatt Gordon,China Language Intensive 6-week, Summer 2008

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Having spent 2 weeks in NanYao, a Naxi dominated village in rural Yunnan, I have been inspired by the more simple, less materialistic lifestyle of the people. As compared to the Wu family, my homestay family in Kunming, the Li Guang family in NanYao had a pre-modern, Chinese way of life. They grew the majority […]

Posted On

07/26/08

Author

Wyatt Gordon

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