6 Things I’ve Learned About Chinese Culture Since Becoming a Qkids Teacher
Hi everyone! My name is Cera Ward and I’ve been a Qkids teacher for just over two years now. In my free time I love to crochet, decorate cookies and make treasure hunts!
The following is a list of interesting things I’ve learned since I started teaching online for Qkids.
1. Number Gestures
There are many things we learn from a young age that we don’t really question. For me. how we count numbers on our fingers is definitely one of them. It wasn’t until I noticed a lot of students giving me the “hang loose” gesture when I asked them how old they were, that I learned about this.
Unlike the Western method, where we just add one more finger to count up to ten, the Chinese method allows you to signify all of the numbers 1-10 with just one hand.
2. English Names
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start teaching with Qkids is the unique names you’ll come across. You might get some students with traditional Chinese names, but you’re more likely to get names like Elsa, Yoyo, or my personal favorite; Big Truck. This is because it is common for English students in China to have an English name, usually chosen by the students themselves.
When someone sneezes, it’s almost second nature for me to say “bless you!”. In China, however, this isn’t something people do. I still say it out of habit, but I wonder if the kids think it’s funny!
4. Unlucky Number 4
If you teach the game “Lucky Card” enough, you may start to notice a trend: The number 4 gets no love. This might be because the number 4 is considered unlucky in China. The reason being that the word sounds very similar to the word for “death”.
5. Visual Language
You know how when a cartoon character gets an idea, a light bulb pops up over their head? This is something called “visual language”, a sort of visual shorthand for conveying ideas. Not surprisingly, different cultures use different symbols.
Something I always found funny in the lessons was how whenever a character is asleep, a bubble is coming out of their nose! I thought this was just something that the animators added to make the kids laugh until I started noticing it consistently. It wasn’t until someone brought it up in one of the Facebook groups that I learned that this is a common form of visual language in Eastern cultures!
If you ever teach one of the Halloween lessons, you might be confused by the “zombie” costume which depicts a man in traditional Chinese clothing with a piece of paper on his forehead that has some Chinese writing on it. A quick trip to Wikipedia explained that in Chinese mythology, the closest thing to our version of a zombie is called a Jiangshi - or Hopping Zombie.
According to Wikipedia “It is believed that the Jiangshis are so stiff that they cannot bend their limbs or body, so they have to move around by hopping while keeping their arms stretched out for mobility”. The piece of paper on their head is actually a talisman with a “sealing spell” written on it!
I am constantly amazed by how much I learn everyday teaching for Qkids! If you’re interested becoming a Qkids teacher use my referral link here and I can help mentor you through the application process! http://teacher.qkids.net/ref?code=AKYUCJ