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Testimonial: A student reflecting on experiences of the Chinese and German program at his school

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Starting from the 19th March, Year 11 and 12 German and Chinese students were given the opportunity by Monash University to take part in their Intergenerational Project. This involves fortnightly sessions where the students get the privilege to speak with older native speakers from Germany or China.

This program benefits both parties. The native speakers are able to share their knowledge and interact with the younger generations, and the students not only learn about their partner’s culture and life, but also have an amazing opportunity to speak and listen to their respective languages in preparation for their end of year examinations.

Having 9 sessions throughout terms 2 and 3 means that all participants get to know their partners quite well and it is evident that students become more confident with the language throughout each session.

When discussing family, friends, holidays, aspirations and lifestyle, we realize that although some differences are shown in the lives of the students and of their partners, there are an immense number of similarities. These differences and similarities are very interesting to think and talk about and many students are taking what they are learning from their partners’ perspective of life into their own lives outside of the sessions.

Henrique Salles

24 May 2012

[published Caulfield Grammar School Newsletter, 2012]