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Shanghai kids relishing summer school

CCTV.com

08-06-2014 19:44 BJT

School is out for two months, but many students in Shanghai are still attending classes over the break. And most of the children are  having fun at summer school.

Every morning during the summer, eight-year-old Gu Yifei is accompanied by his mother to  summer school. There, he and his classmates are learning English with their American teacher.

"There are a lot of children here. It's a lot of fun," he said.

Regular school is out for two months, but many Chinese students in Shanghai are still attending classes over the break.

Regular school is out for two months, but many Chinese students in Shanghai are still attending classes over the break.

"I usually just try to come down to what level they are, and I try to first be as friendly as I can, so that they can really like me as a person. Once I can make them laugh, then they won't be afraid to speak to me. Once they know it's OK, it's OK if they make a mistake," said All Win Education teacher Torie Bonsack.

Gu's mother says that she has noticed that her son has made progress in English.

"We've attended English classes in other places, but I didn't feel such good results after coming home. Now he will interact with me, and tell me what he has learned in school. I think he really likes the place," she said.

More than 20 children attend the summer camp every weekday, where they do homework, take classes, and play table tennis. One parent said that she feels relieved after sending her child here, even though it costs 200 yuan a day.

"It's OK to let his grandparents look after him, but they can only take care of his daily life, not his homework. That's because the child sometimes doesn't listen to his grandparents' words. So I used to have to help him do homework after coming from work. It was very tiring. Now everything's different," she said.

For some middle and high school students, summer study involves more than sitting in a classroom all day. A girl who just graduated from middle school is just taking one English class.

"I'm afraid I won't be able to catch up with my peers when I enter high school, because many choose to attend classes during the summer. Also our school asks us to attend classes, so I can't just stay at home," she said.

"In cities like Shanghai, it's getting really competitive when it comes to academic learning, so students want to get a chance to improve their English or prepare for the tests during the summer break. The other students also want to best utilize the summer time to improve both in written English or speaking English. It's less about test preparation, but it's more about how to improve your overall English skills," Calvin Shen, EF Int'l English Pathway Program, said.

But the school says that more families are taking their children away on vacation during the summer, so it has cut its original 12-week program by half. Some Chinese families will spend up to 10,000 yuan on their child's summertime education. <end>

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