Understanding and mastering the power of language in China

Insights | Understanding and mastering the power of language

Interview of the Head of the WellingtonCollege


Wellington is already a language-rich environment, because like all international schools we have people speaking a wide range of different languages. However, it’s clear to me that as a school we are becoming more consciously aware of our ability to encourage the understanding and exploration of language itself. A recent piece of evidence of this would be the incredibly detailed language survey which drilled down into the remarkably complex linguistic backgrounds of Wellington’s pupils.

It’s this richness of language and expression that our pupils of all backgrounds are bringing into Wellington and it is something I feel very strongly that we must continue to encourage and reinforce as much as possible. Our style of teaching and learning becomes so much more effective and enjoyable when we move beyond simplistic one-word answers, where language is very restrictive and ‘played safe’, to a place where words and ideas are shared around, played with, experimented and expanded upon freely.


This applies to every Wellington pupil: whether English is your first language or not, whether you are fortunate enough to speak several languages fluently, there is always more to learn. There are always more words and shades of meaning and possibilities that could allow us to communicate with greater style, confidence and nuance. I’m not talking about simply swallowing a thesaurus and rattling off a long list of lengthy words either; being able to choose the right words is about more than just having a large vocabulary.

  • It’s also about sensitivity to your audience, whether that’s one person or a thousand. Finding those words that will most powerfully connect with an audience only comes with practice and a little bit of risk-taking.

This is a concept that I feel our pupils inherently understand and something that we are getting consciously better at encouraging throughout the Education via school. It’s partly in Wellington’s DNA: we’re inclusive and international, ‘linguistic’ is one of our aptitudes; our whole philosophy of education is very fertile soil for sharing language. However, it’s also something that I think we are all able to actively encourage through a variety of means.



source : https://www.wellingtoncollege.cn/shanghai/academic/curriculum/prep-school/

Primary School is the Key

One key way to share language is to promote the sense of Wellington being a ‘reading school’, that is, a place where reading is always encouraged and shared between pupils and teachers, in and out of class. Helping all pupils gain a deep, disciplined reading habit doesn’t just mean that they read literary classics; (though there’s a significant place for that of course… I’d be a strange kind of English teacher if I didn’t think such books were valuable!) it means engaging with language in whatever form excites their imagination and sparks a desire to explore and understand.

Being Lost in a Book

Whether it’s science or philosophy, a Jane Austen novel or an online article on breakthrough technologies, the inherent value of reading is in the act itself, not in the book, magazine or digital content. It’s in the pleasure you gain from reading, the knowledge you gain, the ideas you formulate, the perspectives and minds you encounter that otherwise you are locked out of; these are the things that make reading so valuable and so inherently important. Being ‘lost in a book’ is one of the best ways to find the space we all need, from time to time, to step away from the world.



Wellington is, and must continue to be, a place where people value reading, learn from it and then share that learning. I want our classrooms to always be places of genuine, respectful and informed debate.


Having those kinds of debates, sharing that kind of knowledge, gaining that ability to ‘read’ the world, is essential in helping every Wellingtonian leave this school possessing that vital human spark necessary to successfully engage with other people, no matter what their chosen academic, professional or personal path in life.

Friends in China

It’s not how many Chinese friends you have on Facebook or in a WeChat group that makes the difference, it’s whether you can use the linguistic tools at your disposal to say something that is compelling enough for people to want to listen to.

I’d like to finish by sharing a bit of Chinese language that aptly summarises my thoughts on the subject. A favourite poem of mine is ‘V’, a lengthy work by a British poet, Tony Harrison. It opens with a quotation from Arthur Scargill, a trade union leader in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s, when I was growing up:

“I still read the dictionary every day. My father taught me that your power to live depends on your power to master words.”

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the method, but his point still stands. We must always aim to increase our mastery of words, of Chinese language itself, so that we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves, our world and our place in it. This should be viewed as a lifelong process, kickstarted for our pupils during their school years so that they are as ready as possible for all the stories and discussion and debate that will make up their lives to come.

Joe McKee

Head of Senior School




Chinese Students in US university are Proud of China


Controversy continues to rage on-line over a speech given on Sunday at the College of Maryland’s commencement ceremony by a Chinese pupil who said that she came to Maryland with the “fresh air” and stayed for that “fresh air of cost-free speech.”
The speech given by graduating senior Shuping Yang has sparked outrage throughout Chinese social networking with tens of a huge number of net customers bashing her for “belittling” her homeland, accusing her of telling outright lies. source

As section with the backlash, Chinese learners and alumni in the University of Maryland shared a video clip on-line nowadays, preventing back again from Yang’s depiction of China. The online video begins with Xinliang Jiang, a junior communications big at Maryland from Chongqing, who suggests that her hometown “is essentially an incredibly attractive location located in the southwest of China. I like the food, the persons, the air there.” She proceeds:
I also deeply really like my nation, the heritage, culture, tradition. I really like anything over it.
I realize that lots of individuals state that China remains to be enhancing. We want to open up up and embrace many of the solutions from the outside the house earth. I completely concur with that. But I might be so pissed off if any one disgraced my place with deceptions.

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United States VS Chinese Students

Even though we know the United states is actually a really absolutely free talking state. 80% of what Shuping Yang said these days had been deceptions and lies, so we made a decision to speak up mainly because we don’t feel that she will stand for all of us global Chinese students.
So truly the position she came from named Kunming is really a very, incredibly stunning place in China. It truly is on the list of ideal places we could go travel in the course of holidays.
After indicating that she’s “proud of China,” Jiang provides technique to other present and previous Chinese college students at Maryland who introduce their hometowns and strain their disagreement with Shuping Yang’s views, focusing more on China’s not totally harmful air, alternatively than Yang’s promises in the country’s oppressive mental and political natural environment.

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“I’m from Suzhou. My hometown is good and free of charge. We do not want deal with masks there,” claims a person pupil. “I’m from Xiamen. My hometown has blue and distinct skies. We do not need face masks there,” a further pupil echoes.
“I confess that there are some air high-quality problems in China at this time, however you will not die without a mask,” just one Chinese scholar suggests, outlining that she is studying environmental science within the University of Maryland to repair these troubles, instead than “to escape.”
An additional Maryland alumnus voices his disagreement with Shuping Yang right before inviting viewers to vacation to find out each of the beautiful destinations that China provides. “Please make use of your essential imagining, to view from your eyes, to discover the reality. That is what the vital thinking, instructing us,” he states.

Chinese Kids sent to USA

“Yes, China has its flaws, but not ample for me or any Chinese to dislike it to your bones,” says yet another Maryland alumna from China who has chose to remain in the US right after graduation. “My parents remain there. They like it. They may have a household. The houses appear with gardens. It is really not such as the stereotype that you need to be within an apartment respiration bad air. No, it’s not genuine. Quite, extremely improper.” The lady concludes her statement by saying that she may not be able to carry on to assist her alma mater if Maryland doesn’t deal with the incident properly.

Our selection of Articles for The working Visa in China

A China Visa is required to enter the Chinese territory, whatever your nationality, including nationals of Chinese nationality.

English: China Visa Stamp

English: China Visa Stamp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since January 1, 2013, travelers from 45 countries, in transit in Shanghai or Beijing, can stay in the city concerned for a period of 72 hours (3 days) without a visa.









Enjoy, Hope it will be hopeful




China state of law

The shame that come from any infringement of a social obligation or merely a rule of etiquette, would be one that would prevent people from committing crimes rather than the fear of punishment that would result.
So much so that the Confucian dynastic law is probably the only in history to have anticipated punishments for crime victims because of their denunciation of crimes, even finally found and giving rise to the criminal penalties for the offense. For example, the wife exposing her husband or her husband’s family was punished by three years’ imprisonment and 100 strokes of thick bamboo, and this assuming that the charges are proven (if they were not, the complainant was performed by strangulation).
Confucian thought promoted by the government such as that of the sovereign, virtuous men and sages who by their conduct contribute to educate the people.
Punishment are not completely in vain, but must be limited to the masses.
And even in their application, it will take into account social and moral considerations. Respect rites, loyalty to the emperor and filial piety called benevolence of the sovereign and Mandarin while violation of these standards can only aggravate their sentences. This is the “royal road” of the government, the government of men.

But at the time when Confucian ideas make their way, at li 礼 rites of Confucius, opposes the fa 法 laws legalists. For legalistic, man is not born naturally good, but it is the study of society and the stress that leads to justice and decency. Therefore no question of government by man, but by the company of government repression and to correct what is wrong with the individual. In other words, it is the law that places itself above all, it is so unique in the Chinese tradition the supreme norm.

The vagaries of Chinese history, especially during the Qin dynasty, the two currents will successively take over on each other. They will compete throughout Chinese history, even if the trend is that Confucianism wins most often.


New year in summer?! :p

Another harbinger of the approaching New Year: the streets are deserted Minhang. Dongchuan read, usually so full of life, is a ghost street where restaurants closed one after the other, the only remarkable activity being undertaken major work here and there to open a new bakery “Christine” or simply refresh the restaurant .

In fact, the entire population of Minhang seemed an appointment at the counter read Humin to buy train tickets.
As it is imperative on the eve of New Year, the Chinese have a family gathering around a gargantuan meal until the end of the night. They therefore across the country and this period is thus synonymous with heavy traffic that earned me wait a few hours when I wanted, just at that moment preparing my trip to Beijing.
New Year’s Eve in Shanghai
Just before the start of the Spring Festival, I was in Shanghai, Sandrine and we discovered some of the customs of the new year.

7, we went to visit the Longhua Temple (forthcoming article … one day …) and on the way we actively participate in a custom Chinese New Year: launch our wishes for the new year in a “wish tree New Year “(name of my composition), and especially to ensure that they remain hanging:] because otherwise, your wishes are not met!

We bought a “lot of new year wishes to hang on the tree” (ba) to 15 yuan, which included 4 pieces of “tissue greetings new year” (ter) beautifully painted and adorned with various small objects and red and gold pouch, in which we had put the “fabrics wishes new year” before launching into the tree.

Sandrine before and I have applied to write our vows on 2 pieces (we secretly kept two others memories), total immersion in Chinese culture requires, I’ve written in Chinese.

Beijing Theatre

And … we begin by finding all musicians, no more than 5 or 6 after my memories, arranged in an arc each occupied with his typical Chinese instrument and no conductor. Then they move to a hidden end scene where they remained until the end of the show.
Representation itself actually degrades into several tables, independent of each other, probably to allow tourists come here to see a condensed version of a sample large enough that the Peking Opera offers.

Singing a goddess of the mountain, fighting a duel and jokes pass between an innkeeper other before our eyes. Our ears rather difficult to bear elk voice of the goddess of the mountain, whose movements we have yet colorful ribbons happy, and we will époustouflées by fighting acrobatic executed in time with the music and jerky special Peking Opera.

What artists sing … we did not understand anything …

Of course the songs were in Chinese, but more importantly, the sounds were modulated as they can be in our Western operas, making it impossible to distinguish phonemes possible that I could recognize.

While we had the screens for subtitles. But we have just used, perhaps simply because the visual speak for itself. While many subtleties have escaped us, but we enjoyed representation in our own way …

Thus, if only by intellectual curiosity or interest in Chinese culture, I think it’s worth seeing at least once (if you can of course) Peking Opera. After, like everything that is suggestive of more in art, love it or do not.

I was not a fan of music, but I applauded the acrobatic and theatrical performance.