Sixth SCEN China Youth Summit: East Meets West

Mandarin Students attended the Sixth SCEN China Youth Summit: East Meets West on Friday 3rd November in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The event was attended by hundreds of delegates from both home and abroad. The distinguished guests included the Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, Mr. Pan Xinchun, Consul General for the PRC in Edinburgh as well as Professor Sir Anton Muscatell, Principal of Glasgow University. Students from St. Ninian’s HS gave a performance of ‘Scotland is my Hometown’ at the commencement of the summit, for which they received much adulation from Dr Judith McClure and all the delegates present. The students also had the opportunity to hear from many fascinating keynote speakers. Students especially enjoyed presentations from Hong Kong Students who has been part of the Hong Kong Scotland Schools Improvement Program, who detailed their thoughts on what can be learned from our respective cultures through mutual understanding.  The students had Lunch provided by SCEN, and had the chance to socialise with other Chinese students and teachers. The day was a great success as everyone greatly enjoyed being involved in it, and experiencing all the many wonderful learning opportunities which Mandarin brings.

Below are some thoughts from the pupils who attended.

Iona Spooner        3a8

I really enjoyed the conference because it was so vibrant and it really encouraged me to continue learning Mandarin. There were presentations about other people’s trips to China which gave me an idea of what it is like. My favourite presentations were the exchange students from Hong Kong who had very good English and I hope to be as good at Mandarin as they are at English. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and I learned a lot more about the partnership with Scotland and China.

Martin Coyle   3a4

I had a great time at the Sixth SCEN Youth Summit as it there was a lot of information. The performances were fantastic and so were the presentations. I was very impressed with the students from Hong Kong as their English skills were amazing. My favourite presentation was the young man who went to university in Tianjin and is studying Business with Modern Languages, I enjoyed this as I also have an interest in the Tianjin scholarship. In general, the conference was very good and I found out more about the relationship between Scotland and China.

Portia Innes 3a7

I had a very good time at the Sixth SCEN Youth Summit, there were a lot of people who had lots of different presentations and I learned a lot from them. I enjoyed the presentation from the students from Hong Kong when they spoke about their trip to Scotland. I was really impressed at how well they spoke English. They showed the differences but also the similarities between the Chinese culture and the Scottish culture, which I found very interesting. All the presentation made me realise how helpful learning mandarin will be for my future and has made me more determined to work harder.

Caleb McCracken 1a9

I had a great time at the Sixth SCEN Youth Summit, there were lots of people with lots of different presentations. It made me feel like going to China would be a great cultural experience and have a big affect on my future career. It really taught me how learning Mandarin is so useful and fun! It was a great time with loads of great people and important people in china and in the UK involved in the learning of Mandarin in Scotland schools!

Muhammed Choudhry 1a9

I had an amazing time at the Sixth SCEN Youth Summit, there were lots of interesting moment like the 4 Aberdeen girls that went to China. The presentations were well displayed and well presented, performances in Chinese was very interesting and in different as we were told and the singing was really magnificent. This was truly unforgettable experience I hope that I would explore all over China.

Oliver McLachlan 1a3

I had very interesting and unforgettable time at the Sixth SCEN Youth Summit. All the presentations had so much information, especially the presentation on Mandarin and Dyslexia. All the awards for Preston Lodge were very admirable. Also the singers and songs were very different from what we would listen to in Scotland. Everything about all the trips to China were very excitable and got me bursting to go to China and wishing I was fourteen. I wish I can go to the next SCEN Youth Summit conference to find about even more about China, language and culture.

Alistair MacDonald 3a6

I was very interesting to hear about dyslexia in China and how it effects they in there English but not in Mandarin and to find out that mandarin can help dyslexia pupil because of the symbol look like what they mean for example the tree symbol look like a tree.

Jagoda Halicka 5a7

I had a very enjoyable time at the SCEN Conference. It was very interesting to hear the opinions of teachers who travelled to China, pupils from Hong Kong who came to visit Scotland and also of those working in education. For me, it was an extremely enriching experience which broadened my view of Mandarin and how it can be useful for my future. The music was very different but thus more enjoyable and interesting. I would gladly attend the next SCEN conference and might even consider becoming and ambassador for SCEN in the future.

Andrea Geejo 3a10

The trip was very interesting and informative and made me realise about all the opportunities I have from studying Mandarin. It was fun to see pupils from other schools all gathered together and to listen to stories from other people who have visited China. I enjoyed listening to the opinions of the students from China about Scotland and hear about what they liked. Overall it was a very educational and enlightening trip.

Laura Dias 3a2

I found the conference very interesting. Especially I learned about the 4 Scottish girls who went to China for 2 weeks. I enjoyed learning about what they got up to whist in China. I also enjoyed learning about the SCEN ambassador scheme, because one day I would like to become a SCEN ambassador and also go to China. Overall it was a very enjoyable and educational trip. And I hope to go again next year.

A pupil from Mandarin class

The 6th SCEN Youth Summit was held in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the 3rd of December 2017. It was a terrific event, were students, and VIPs alike congregated in a large auditorium to witness 3 hours of insightful speeches, performances and presentations about the ways in which the Mandarin language is taught, experienced and enjoyed throughout Scotland. Students participating in an exchange program from Hong Kong also attended, and were free for chat during the 30 minutes lunch break. Guest speakers included the Head of Glasgow University, a representative from the Scottish Government and various school groups from across the country, all discussing their person experiences with the complex, yet rewarding language.

Our contribution to the event was a song rendition of “Scotland is my home” (苏格兰我的家) to start the day in upbeat fashion. It was met with generous applause, and has unique in the sense that it was one of three musical performances throughout the conference.

I would like to thank Mrs Zhou for giving me the opportunity to attend such an inspiring, prestigious event and for letting me participate in the St. Ninian’s band. I would also like to thank Dr Judith McClure, the head of SCEN for organising the event, enabling budding Mandarin speakers to converse, encourage and meet other young people, who too are on the minding journey of Learning Mandarin, as well as all the other things she does to operate such a great organisation.

S4 Heather Spooner

I really enjoyed the 6th SCEN conference on Friday. I found it very interesting and learned lots of things about different people’s experiences in China! I was also very impressed that the exchange students from Hong Kong managed to stay in Scotland for a week with host families and went to school, while speaking English the whole time! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and gained many good experiences from it.

S4 Heather McHugh

The 6th SCEN Youth Summit offered the valuable opportunity to listen to the experience of people I would most likely never meet otherwise. It was very welcoming and I met lots of kind people. All of the talks and performances were very interesting. I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend and perform at the summit and am hopeful to attend next year.

S4 Susie Brown

It was interesting to learn about how different Chinese culture is from our culture. I really enjoyed hearing from the students’ trips and what they learned. I also found the talk about Mandarin and Dyslexia very interesting.

S4 Luke Nelson

I found the summit useful for finding out the opportunities that I could experience in future life with my Mandarin learning. It made me realise just how helpful learning Mandarin is as the Chinese economy is rapidly growing. I also really enjoyed listening to the students from Hong Kong opinion on Scotland and also Scottish children’s opinion on going to China.

S4 Nicole

I enjoyed the SCEN trip. I found it really interesting to learn about how other languages can be so useful and how cultures differ.

S4 David Sturgess

On Friday 3rd November I attended the 6th SCEN Summit at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It was a great trip and I enjoyed it a lot. Our school was playing music for the first part of the first session, they did amazing! It was considerably better than the dance we performed the previous year at the 5th SCEN. The rest of the first session was filled with interesting stories of other people’s trips to China and the amazing things they did. One of the groups that spoke was only in primary school. They had gone to China to be involved in a TV programme that Chinese kids watched. I founded it very surprising that these young children had been to China before they had even finished Primary. But not all the presentations were about going to China, some were about Chinese kids coming to Scotland. They seemed to really love Scotland even though the weather is awful. Chinese children are really good at English, one of the boys that was speaking, I think, was better at English than me! The first session concluded and then it was lunch time. The lunch at the SCEN summits is always one of the highlights and this time was no different. There was an abundance of sandwiches, biscuits, crips and fruit, which I know for a fact went down a treat. The second session was opened with a pipe band from some school, they were brilliant! After they had played, they did a presentation about their trip to China. Their band had been involved in the big folk music competition that was held in China. I’m not sure if they won, but in my opinion they definitely should have! The second session was just as riveting as the first. Some minister from the Scottish government that was in charge of education talked to us about now Chinese language was becoming a more and more popular language in schools. She quoted lots of figure about the numbers of primary/secondary schools that are teaching Mandarin and the number of pupils etc. after this came the most interesting part of the whole summit, well, in my opinion anyway. It was a lady talking about how Chinese language actually helps with dyslexia. Apparently the characters actually cause pupils who show signs of dyslexia to not show any signs. She said it was the way that the characters depict a picture that helped the pupils; this is not the same as the letters we use. Our letters are really just random scribbles! In conclusion the event was a great success and I think everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you! Xiexie!

S6 Lucy Dickson

I found the 6th SCEN Youth Summit to be a really enjoyable trip and I felt that it was a very valuable experience. I learnt a lot not only about how mandarin is taught in other Scottish schools, but I learnt a lot about schools and day to day life in China. I thought that the other pupils sharing their experiences of visiting another country was particularly interesting, especially when the pupils from Hong Kong talked about their visit to Scotland, and how so many things that were normal to us were completely different from life in Hong Kong.

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