Sunderland sends graduates to run summer school in China

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A PAIR of Wearside graduates ran a summer school with a difference.

Katie Tomlinson and Joel Webster took a school teaching dozens of young Chinese university students about English language and culture.

Kate and Joel studied Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages as part of their degrees at the University of Sunderland.

Since 2011, English teachers at Fuzhou University in China have taken part in an exchange with Sunderland University, and this summer the first two student teachers from Wearside took the journey to the Far East.

Felicity Breet, Associate Dean at the Department of Culture at Sunderland, said: “Fuzhou University has a long-term relationship with the university.

“We sent two of our best students to teach over 30 of their students over a two-week period.” Joel, 25, said: “We taught English language to a very mixed class – some who were studying English, but also some studying other courses.

“We had to mix in elements of British culture into our teaching to help them use English in everyday conversation.” Katie, 21, said: “One thing they were very interested in learning about was English festivals.

“Not Glastonbury, but Western traditions like Christmas and Pancake Day, which they find very odd and fascinating.”

Both graduates said they were grateful to Sunderland University for the opportunity, and the experience had opened their eyes to teaching overseas.

Joel has just landed a new job as a private English tutor in Moscow.