Starting in the summer of 2020, Reading Buddies partnered with the Chaoyang Experimental School: Chinese Academy of Educational Sciences, to increase the reading, speaking, and listening comprehension of the students. Sessions take place once a week for an hour where chapter books, increasing in difficulty as students become more comfortable with English texts, are read, analyzed, and discussed. After finishing each chapter book, the next session is spent watching the movie, as well as recognizing the differences between the text and the film – which is especially great for listening and speaking fluency.

Each session also begins with an introduction period where students and tutors share a response about themselves which corresponds to the weekly question (example: What is your favorite movie? What is your favorite thing to do on a warm summer day? etc). This is a great way to get students and tutors comfortable with one another, as well as a great way for students to get familiar with pressing the unmute button. Students, most of whom are ages twelve to thirteen, come to each session eager to learn. It is amazing to see how these students have grown over the course of the past year, and we can’t wait to see how they evolve in the coming months. A normal session consists of anywhere from 20-30 students, all of whom participate enthusiastically and ask questions with great zeal. 

The book we are currently reading is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It is amazing to see how far the students have come, and it is hard to believe that this time last year, students were only able to read picture books with minimal text. We are so proud of our students, and can’t wait to continue to see them thrive.

By Reading Buddies Lead, Diya Gupta.