Since MIT went Virtual, the lack of in-person contact has posed special challenges for language classes, which rely heavily on face-to-face interaction and communicative activities. Chinese Lecturer Kang Zhou shares this story from his remote classroom.

Taking advantage of current circumstances, I encouraged my Chinese II students to share the Chinese language with their families and friends and submit a video of their lesson. Students took up this task with great enthusiasm. Some chose to hold impromptu language sessions over dinner, while others taught Chinese to their family dog.

In a time that tests the bonds between us, students were able to rediscover their love of language learning, and kindle new connections with their families, pets, friends and classmates.

Below is the video clip from one of my students, Emmeline MacPherson (class of 2023Biological Engineering).

Emmeline told me: “Being stuck at home during the past few weeks, it has been difficult to maintain the excitement and fun that usually accompanies classes on campus. This video project allowed me to incorporate my family into my school work and in turn, provided us all with an enjoyable afternoon of creativity and learning. It gave us a much-needed break from our usual routines and rekindled the love of learning in all of us. Hopefully this video demonstrates this, and also provides a few laughs along the way.”

Special thanks to Emmeline’s family!

Kang Zhou is a Lecturer in Chinese at MIT Global Languages. In addition to teaching Chinese language, he also teaches a popular Chinese Calligraphy class. Read this interview with Kang Zhou.