MIT-CETI (MIT China Educational Technology Initiative)
This summer Annabeth participated in the MIT-CETI Program introducing course content in four distinct regions across Greater China (at the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, Yuan Ze University, Taiwan; Qinghai University, and Yulin University). Her CETI team, which included fellow MIT students Alice Wen and Daniel Wang, developed unique lesson plans that incorporated technical, cultural, and English elements. An average work day began with an icebreaker activity to get the students energized and engaged. These activities were both team- and confidence- building, as well as fun. Each day usually included a couple of technical lectures that we each created based on our areas of expertise. As a math major, Daniel introduced numerous lectures on problem solving techniques. These challenged our students to think outside of the box. Alice, a brain and cognitive science student, gave lectures introducing psychology as well as Greek mythology, an interest of hers. As a civil engineer, Annabeth focused on civil engineering and business skills. Their students enjoyed learning about a range of different topics, both related and unrelated to their fields of study.
Annabeth’s group also discussed Western culture with our students using presentations, movies, and music videos. “We used current news articles in reading comprehension activities and SAT practice tests to hone their English grammar skills,” Annabeth explains. “We found that the best way for the students to practice their English was through presentations. This was a fun way not only for the students to practice speaking English, but also for us to learn about them and their interests.” Overall, there was a great deal of cross-cultural exchange between the MIT-CETI group and their students, making the CETI internship a teaching and learning experience for the MIT students.
A primary motivation for Annabeth’s participating in the MIT-CETI Program was the opportunity to practice speaking Mandarin. She started studying Mandarin Chinese in high school and continued studying in college years. At the end of four years of college level Chinese courses, Annabeth says she had developed a large Chinese vocabulary and knowledge of Chinese grammar, but lacked was the confidence to speak. “My CETI experience provided me with the perfect opportunity to gain this confidence."