When learning a language, textbooks can only take you so far. Fortunately when UBC Prof. Qian Wang was seeking innovative ways to help third-year language students improve their Mandarin speaking skills, she didn’t have to look too far.
When you’re working at street level, research resources can be hard to come by... Unless you’re a binner in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES).
A growing group of these informal waste recyclers has connected with the Learning Exchange to access and develop research that will help identify economic opportunities and reduce the stigma surrounding their work.
You could have heard a pin drop.
All conversation stopped as heads turned toward a small glass-walled meeting room where a petite senior citizen was staging a solo performance of traditional Chinese song. Fuqin Xu sang with the clear, strong voice of a woman half her age.
Sometimes moving ahead means going back to where you started, but with new skills. Brad Peters knows about that. Two years ago, he was a learner in a job skills program. Today he’s moved to the head of the class – literally, as a facilitator in the same program.
When Anna Ward signed up for summer field school at the Learning Exchange she had no idea it would turn out to be a highlight of her time at UBC.
“It was one of the best decisions I‘ve made here,” says the 22 year-old Sociology Honours student. Last summer, as a third-year student, Anna enrolled in the Urban Ethnographic Field School (formerly IVEFS) organized by the UBC departments of Anthropology and Sociology. In six-week field school placements, students learn from and contribute to a variety of community organizations.