English Corner on Our Campus: Food Night!

 All across China, university and college campuses, city parks and small cafes host what has been termed as English Corner (EC). These are well-known gathering places where those interested in practicing their English skills can show up and join with others of the same interest at set times during the week. English Corners have been around for a long time in this country, and our campus is no exception.

Every Wednesday evening’ from 7 – 8 p.m. in Classroom 3203, we three foreign teachers gather to see who shows up for our EC activity night. Every month, we choose a different theme and build upon that to create an atmosphere for learning English. Sports, Family Relationships, and University Life have been a few of our topics from the past.

Those who attend are of all majors and English levels. We have those who can put together sentences fairly easily and others who can’t say more than a few words or even none at all. We have a mixture of guys and gals, with 20 participating one week and then 7 the next depending on their schedules and available free time.

Our topic for May has been food, and this past Wednesday night we planned for something special: making the all-American snack, peanut butter and jelly (or other additions) sandwiches.

The spread was one of great interest for our small group of 7: sliced bread, homemade and storebought peanut butter, marmalade and strawberry jam, sliced bananas, honey, potato chips, soda crackers and European biscuits (plain cookies)/After learning the vocabulary for the food items, and practicing to the point of perfection, the eager students watched as we three demonstrated making our favorite sandwiches. Angela made hers with homemade peanut butter, honey and banana. Geoff followed with the classic P&J, peanut butter and strawberry jam. I followed adding potato chips to mine and also creating a soda cracker peanut butter snack as well.

After that, plates were passed out and the students were released to make their own creations.   Drinks were added and then our intimate group sat together, sharing our thoughts about the tastiness of our newly-made ventures, which condiments were the favorites and which could be done without.

Because peanut butter can be bought in China, albeit not cheap ($4.00 for a 6 oz jar), as well as jams and jellies, it might be some of our participants might make this on their own some day. I suggested a P&J sandwich party in their dorm rooms where everyone could pitch in to purchase snacks. The 5 boys in attendance seemed particularly keen on this plan. The girls a tad hesitant, more concerned about their figures than their stomachs.

Next week’s EC will be a movie. We are contemplating what story centered around food would be a good choice. The romance Chocolat is one; the Disney animation Ratatouille another.  Chinese subtitles are a must since most of those attending can’t follow the English. In this way, everyone can enjoy no matter what their English language level is.

Until next post, hoping you are having good Memorial Day Weekend.

Students are busy creating their own P&J creations.

Students are busy creating their own P&J creations.

What to choose for additions?  Potato chips?  Bananas?  Honey?  Jelly?

What to choose for additions? Potato chips? Bananas? Honey? Jelly?

Whatever we chose, the result was the same.  Delicious!

Whatever we chose, the result was the same. Delicious!

About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 18 years as an English language teacher. 13 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my second year in Guangxi Province at the 3-year college, Guangxi Normal University for Nationalities. The college is located in smalltown longzhou, 1 hour from the Vietnam border.
This entry was posted in From Along the Yangtze, Luzhou, Luzhou Vocational and Technical College, Tales from Sichuan's Yangtze Rivertown, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to English Corner on Our Campus: Food Night!

  1. Kate Lindsay says:

    My favorite is PB on whole wheat bread with slice bananas……had one for lunch yesterday. Great food tasting experience for the students!
    It continues to rain here in Denton…..lakes are full/overflowing…..more rain expected thruout weekend. We’ve had 42 tornadoes in the state this season already (last year 64)…..we’re getting a shelter. My kid sister is here for the weekend….we’ve been quilt shopping…requiring an additional suitcase for her to get home to KS.

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