Ten Year 7 Chinese exchange students from Suzhou Foreign Language School in the Jiangsu Provence, China, arrived at Thomas Deacon Academy on Monday of last week to start their experience of life in an English school.
Y7 TDA students participating in the Quasar Programme will buddy the Chinese students during their stay so that they can fully appreciate academy life.
This is a very exciting experience, not only for the visitors but also for the students, as they begin their journey familiarising themselves with a new culture.
Thursday was the first real challenge for the TDA students as they began to explore foreign languages with Tom Baxter, a second year Cambridge University student studying Chinese.
Tom delivered a fascinating presentation of his journey from feeling the frustration of not understanding other languages as a young teenager to learning four different languages by the age of 21.
Tom assisted the students, both English and Chinese, alternating between languages as he explored the benefits and importance of studying foreign languages.
Following this, Tom delivered an introductory Mandarin lesson to enable TDA students to communicate with their new friends. By the end of the lesson the city students were able to say hello, goodbye and count to 10 in Mandarin and the Chinese students were singing in English with academy students.