GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Glen Ridge High School continued its visiting Chinese student program this year when 35 pupils from Shanghai Nan Hui Senior High School the school visited during the final week of September.
In the past, the students attended class for five days while remaining with host parents in town, but this recent visit was for three days with overnight accomodations at a nearby hotel.
The purpose of the visit was to learn American educational methods, and the trip included stops at Columbia and Princeton universities.
The students were led by their English teacher, Mao Rong Zhou, who commented that American teachers are good at involving students in activities. Mao was also impressed with the cleanliness of the classroom and the friendliness of the faculty.
“Glen Ridge students answer immediately,” he commented. “But Chinese students want to give the best answer.”
He attributed some hesitancy to unfamiliarity with terms.
“They know the content if they had to go to the board, but they may not be familiar with the terms,” he said.
Shilong Zhang, the GRHS Chinese teacher, said the girls may also be shy. “Boys are more open, but girls prepare more,” she said.
“Boys are braver,” Mao said. “They don’t mind losing face.”
Shanghai Nan Hui Senior High School is considerably larger than GRHS, Mao said, with 640 students in each grade level.