Coronavirus detection and prevention

At The Princess of Wales hospital. NHS staff have been sent this:

This is the advice given to hospital staff. It explains the virus and hopefully, how to prevent getting it. Please share with family, friends and work colleagues.


Virus Detection:
The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough. The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days. The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days. Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately.

Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.

Prevention:
The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest. Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.

Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.

For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun’s UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you. The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life. If an infected person sneezes nearby, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you.

When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel. The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die. The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present. Washing your hands is essential. The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them.

You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs. Disinfect things touched often: mobile phone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc ….

Please do the same and take care!

Online Chinese courses

Dear parents, students and friends,

Following on from today’s news on school closure from next Monday 23rd, we write to confirm that all our lessons will be offered on Zoom from Monday 23rd.

How do the online courses work?

Zoom offers practical and interactive features including chat, video and whiteboard, screen and document share. All existing lessons will be held on Zoom at the same time as they were initially scheduled. Our teachers will send a link through which our lessons can be accessed. The link can be used every week for the same group. Before the first lesson, our teachers will join the classroom 15 minutes ahead of the start to make sure all students are ready. All homework will be shared online and lesson updates will be provided weekly as usual.

What do you need to do? 

We advise you all to download Zoom to your devices (preferably computer/iPad) as soon as you can. Check the audio and video are working fine. We also recommend using a stable network; the best way to guarantee a secure Wifi connection is usually to connect from your own home – and staying at home is certainly a good idea in present circumstances! Please do get in touch immediately should you need any assistance with setting up the platform.

New courses

To support our existing and new students with their studies, we will also be making available some new and interesting online courses which focus on vocabulary, speaking and culture differences. Details of the new courses will follow soon. 

Amidst the exceptional situation, we hope you will look after yourself and stay safe. We look forward to seeing you again once the situation is back to normal.

Online courses in anticipation of school closure

Dear parents, students and friends,

Like all of you, we continue to closely monitor the concerning situation regarding COVID-19, the impact of which is already being felt and which is expected to cause widespread disruption to our daily lives in the coming period. 

While there has at the time of writing been no official announcement as to the position Jersey’s schools will take in response to the fast-changing situation, ThinkChinese is resolved to work closely with its partner schools to minimise the impact the current situation will have on our students. It is with this in mind that our team proposes to deliver its classes online should schools close at any time. In fact, we are already in the process of switching some classes online irrespective of any stance taken by the schools. 

How do the online courses work?

The platform we use, Zoom, offers practical and interactive features including chat, video and whiteboard, screen and document share. Upon school closure, all existing lessons will be held on Zoom at the same time as they were initially scheduled. Our teachers will send a link through which our lessons can be accessed. The link can be used every week for the same group. Before the first lesson, our teachers will join the classroom 15 minutes ahead of the start to make sure all students are ready. All homework will be shared online and lesson updates will be provided weekly as usual.

What do you need to do? 

We advise you all to download Zoom to your devices (preferably computer/iPad) in advance. Check the audio and video are working fine. We also recommend using a stable network; the best way to guarantee a secure Wifi connection is usually to connect from your own home – and staying at home is certainly a good idea in present circumstances! 

New courses

To support our existing and new students with their studies, we will also be making available some new and interesting online courses which focus on vocabulary, speaking and culture differences. Details of the new courses will follow soon. 

While our lessons are still available at schools and in our office, we would recommend you observe the following measures to look after yourself and your classmates:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or hand sanitiser (we have some in our office, but please bring your own if you have it);
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when sneezing and coughing;
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (such as your phone) and surfaces;
  • Should you feel unwell, we appreciate you not coming for lessons and avoiding contact with other students.

The situation is changing everyday. We will no doubt get in touch again to follow up. Please stay well and we look forward to the next stage of your study. 

Immersion Programme – a platform for bilingualism

According to trusted research that children’s linguistic capacity peaks at the age of 6 and declines as they grow older. It is with this in mind that we – teachers and language enthusiasts have put together a programme which allows children in Jersey to learn Chinese from a young age in an immersive classroom environment in the hope that they can benefit from it for a lifetime. 

The immersion classes are taught through three themes – arts, maths and daily conversations. Each class includes three small sessions of 30 minutes, with 15 minutes break in between, which makes the entire session last 2 hours. We believe that cultivating our students’ interest in a different culture, and developing their skills through a foreign language are the keys to gaining proficiency. 

This programme will be led by our teacher, Di Zhao. Prior to joining ThinkChinese, Di completed her MA degree in TCSOL (Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages) from Nottingham University. She has 6 years experience teaching in a renowned bilingual institute in Beijing. Another teacher will also join her for teaching and safeguarding.

This programme is suitable for children between the ages of 3-5. Only 10 places are available. Lessons are offered on a termly basis, with formal and informal feedback provided regularly. At the end of each year, our team will review the progress of each child and compare it to the benchmark set under each theme. Reference will also be taken from that held by mainstream English-Chinese bilingual nurseries/ receptions in China. The lessons will be held every Saturday in our new office at 10 St James Street.

The programme is due to be launched in September. Enrolment is currently open. With the easing of lockdown, we are keen to organise an open day for children and parents who are interested in this programme. It is a great opportunity to get to know the environment, our teachers and receive more information on the programme. Please contact our team for more information or to enrol.

We are moving.

ThinkChinese is delighted to announce we are moving!

Located in St James Street, next to St James Church, the new office benefits from a great location. It is only a few minutes away from schools based on College Hill, and also within a stone’s throw of Town. 

The new office offers plenty of space for lessons and activities. It consists of three separate rooms which are planned to be turned into children, adults and private classrooms. 

With this exciting expansion, we are able to diversify our courses to accommodate different learning needs and preferences. Immersion classes for children between 4-6 years old and Chinese cooking lessons are currently on the plan, which will become available after Easter. Our team is also minded to organise events to take advantage of the space. Talks, quiz, music and art sessions will all become available once we settle in. 

While looking forward to the new chapter of the business, we’re also a little sad to be leaving Bourne House. It’s been our home since the very beginning of ThinkChinese and – despite its small size – has been an office, classroom, library and party venue, all at the same time. We believe the move to a bigger space reflects the growth and maturity of our service offering and the popularity of the Chinese language in the Island. 

ThinkChinese Statement on Coronavirus

You will all no doubt be aware of the global coronavirus epidemic. In response to questions raised by a number of concerned parents, we write here to offer reassurances about the steps we are taking to provide awareness of any preventative measures recommended by Jersey and UK authorities to combat the spread of the virus. 

We do so as a responsible Jersey company, which was founded here and whose workforce and operations are based on the Island. We are proud to be recognised as a valued member of the local business community and we share in the responsibility to tackle this issue head-on.

Whilst we understand that particular concerns might be raised in the direction of ThinkChinese given the nationality of our workforce, we assume that all local schools (and indeed other Jersey businesses) are circulating similar guidance given that the coronavirus epidemic has now been classified as a public health emergency. 

We can confirm that no ThinkChinese staff members have recently returned from China and nor do we have any plans to travel to China before the virus is contained and travel routes between the UK and China (and within China itself) are normalised. 

As soon as the seriousness of the situation was widely reported, we contacted a local medical professional to query whether any precautionary steps ought to be taken in respect of travel between the UK and Jersey. The advice at that point (approx. 10 days ago) was that these areas are low risk and therefore no precautions were necessary. 

We have of course monitored developments very closely. We are not health professionals and can only relay the advice that is being provided by the relevant authorities, principally the World Health Organisation, as reported in numerous media outlets. Some very simple measures can and should be taken by every one of us:

  • Always carry a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and bin it after use.
  • Wash hands with soap and water or use sanitiser gel.

For anyone returning from China in the past 14 days, the following is recommended:

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as they would with other flu viruses.
  • Avoid work, school and other public areas.
  • Avoid visitors to their homes.
  • Avoid using public transport or taxis.
  • Be vigilant about hand washing and respiratory hygiene (using tissues).

The Government of Jersey has set up a dedicated page here

Finally, I should take this opportunity to thank those of you who have kindly expressed concern about the welfare of the family and friends of ThinkChinese staff in China. We are comforted to know you are thinking of us. 

Interview with a star student – Alys Williamson

September is a month filled with academic harvest for ThinkChinese. All students sitting HSK Levels 1-3 in July passed with excellent scores. Two candidates from Level 2 obtained full marks, which is the first time in ThinkChinese’s history. 

Alys with her teacher Jiaying

Among all the achievements, one stands out for her remarkable results having only learned with us for a relatively short time. Alys Williamson obtained 292/300 in her HSK Level 3 exam and A* in her GCSE, that latter result bettering even some native Chinese students in the UK!

Currently in Year 10, Alys started to learn Chinese with us about three years ago. She attends one hour small group tuition each week. She sat HSK Levels 1 and 2 in her first year with us, and Level 3 and GCSE this summer. She surprised many with her quick acquisition of Chinese characters, adaptation to recordings of a fast speed, and ability to produce articles in characters almost effortlessly. As a Chinese teacher and education enthusiast, I’m determined to find out her learning secret, by putting forward a few questions to her. I hope to find more efficient ways for our students to learn Chinese and modern foreign languages more generally. 

  • What was your first impression of Chinese when you first began to learn the language? How did you approach the differences between English and Chinese?

When I first started learning Chinese, I realised that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would have been! The discrepancies actually helped me to learn Chinese, because unlike French, it is nothing like English, so it encouraged me to work harder to overcome them. 

  • Quite many learners find tones are very difficult especially at the beginning. What did you think about it when you first started? Do you have any tips for the new beginners?

Like many other people who learn Chinese, I also found tones very bothersome, as it seemed like I could never get them right! Though, when I learn how to read a character, I try to memorise the tones that it has, (which you can see on the Pinyin) and remember that I need to pronounce it differently.

  • In learning the written Chinese characters, what would you say will be the most effective way to remember the characters?

Admittedly, writing Chinese characters is really not one of my strongest skills, in fact, it’s something I find most difficult. This is because I often forget the stroke order, which is very important! To try and overcome this, I practice writing characters multiple times, and put them into a sentence so that I know what context they belong in. You could also make flashcards with either the full character or the stroke order of it to help it stick in your head. 

  • Could you please recommend some extracurricular activities to new Chinese learners, as what you may have done it before?

Aside from lessons, you can also do lots of study at home. I always used apps like Drops, Memrise, and ChineseSkill to help me with characters and new words. You can also use revision cards or books from the author ShaoLan Hsueh, which provides you with fun ways to learn how to read and write characters. It also helps to immerse yourself in the history and culture of China, through novels or factual books, this way, your interest will increase.

With glowing results in hand, Alys didn’t rest. She set out her journey for HSK Level 4 almost immediately. Upon passing Level 4, Alys’s choices for universities will be widened further as many prestigious Chinese universities accept HSK Level 4 and above as proof of language efficiency. In fact, a number of them are within the top 100 world universities according to Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019. Having completed Chinese GCSE one year ahead of other subjects, Alys is also working hard on her GCSE home stretch. She hopes to get into Hautlieu and when the time comes, to travel to China with ThinkChinese so she can put her language into practice. 

I hope Alys’s story can inspire other Chinese learners and many more like-minded students – in the pursuit of excellent results, they enjoy their study and are persistent and resourceful when difficulties arise. 

The Sino-British Relations in the 19th century & Hong Kong and Taiwan Nowadays 

Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher
in 1982. Photo by SCMP

This September, we bring you our first workshop on Chinese history. Led by Dr Cheng Jin (Kim) from Durham University, the workshop will focus on the Sino-British Relations in the 19th century, followed by a brief history of one of the British colonies – Hong Kong. It will further compare Hong Kong with Taiwan – a special area with controversial political status. The workshop aims to offer the audience a better understanding of the current issue of Taiwan & Hong Kong through their history footing. The attitudes from the mainland Chinese will also be examined. The workshop will last approximately 1 hour, followed by a Q&A session. Please allow 1.5 hours.

Kim completed his doctoral studies and received his PhD degree in July 2019, after having obtained an MA degree (merit) in translation studies. Both degrees were obtained in Durham University. His research covers a wide range of topics related to China and Chinese history and literature. He writes articles on missionaries’ representations of China in the 19th century, resituating Orientalism into a 19th century Chinese context, and Morrison’s first biblical translation in 1823. He has also worked as a freelance translator for several years. 

Join us for a cup of oolong tea on a Friday after work. Let your thoughts brew, and the rich history is infused with the modern day.

Ticket price: £10 per person

Venue: in town (TBC)

Date and Time: Friday 27th 18:30-20:00

Book your place for this workshop by filling in the Contact Form below, or email us at info@thinkchinese.net

THE Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节), along with the Chinese Spring Festival and the Dragon Boat Festival, are the three most important festivals in the Chinese culture. The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month (usually in mid-September, or early October of the Gregorian calendar), at which time it is believed that the moon is the fullest. To the Chinese people, Mid-Autumn Festival means family reunion and peace. The bright and full moon symbolises harmony, prosperity and happiness. The main traditions include eating mooncakes, having dinner with family, worshipping the moon, etc.  

As the Festival has been mentioned to our students in class in the past, this year, we came up with a quiz on some niche aspects of the Moon Festival. Let’s see how knowledgeable you are! 

1, When in the ancient time did the Mid-Autumn Festival gain popularity?

2, In modern days, when did the Mid-Autumn Festival become a public holiday in China?

3, In ancient China, another tradition of celebrating this holiday is to carry brightly-lit lanterns on the street, some of which have riddles written on them. People try to guess the answers based on the meaning, pronunciation and indication of what’s written. In which two provinces was the tradition most popular?

4, Let’s try a riddle: what fish is always hungry? 

5, Which ethnic group in China ‘chased the Moon’ for the whole day on Mid-Autumn Festival?

Answers:

2008.

Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD).

Guangdong & Guangxi.

Crocodile (pronounces è yú 鳄鱼 in Chinese. è means hungry, but the characters between crocodile è 饿 and the hungry è 鳄 are different).

Mongol race.