By XIN RAO and ERIN HOLLOWAY
Editor: MICHELLE DANNER
All UPP students face the unique challenge of communicating with Americans effectively. Nevertheless, many of the students have drastically improved their English skills during their time here not only by paying attention in their classes but also by taking advantage of UPP’s Language Exchange program. Language Exchange is an continuous event held by New Mind Education, with activities occurring about every two weeks, starting in the Fall semester of 2015. UPP students are paired with other NC State students who are learning Chinese in FLC (Foreign Language: Chinese) classes, and they take turns practicing both English and Chinese with their native-speaking partner. In this way, UPP students get to be both learners and teachers! Student pairs meet in Talley Student Union on Fridays from 6:00-7:30 pm.
The most recent exchange was on March 4th, the day before spring break. Although many students had already made plans to travel that day, four students (two UPP and two FLC students) attended the event. Although there were fewer participants than usual, the students seemed to have very good conversations.
“It is pretty useful!” Yuquan Cui said. “It (the Language Exchange) is a place where you can meet a lot of American students and keep contact with them. We can actually help each other with language and enlarge our friend circle.”
Language Exchange is a casual event, so students choose where they want to sit in Talley and what topics they want to talk about. It is very common to see UPP students and FLC students become good friends and make plans to meet outside of the Language Exchange events. These mutually beneficial events also help FLC students earn credit for their class, and they really help our students adapt into their new environment at NCSU.
“It is a very interesting event. I can learn a lot of Chinese words, like slang that cannot be found in my textbook, from Chinese students,” FLC student Luis Esteves said.
“I got a lot of information about entertainment, such as TV shows and movies’ names,” UPP student Xiaorui Qu said.
“It helps me understand Chinese better,” Sarah Crawford, one of the most dependable FLC students, said. “I mean, not just from my professor, I can hear a lot of explanations about different aspects of the same word which is really helpful.”
It is good to see that both FLC students and UPP students can take advantage of this event and learn more about their second language and the accompanying culture!
“The event is fun, and I’m looking forward to attending more,” Esteves said.
The next Language Exchanges are scheduled for March 18, April 1, and finally April 22.