VIPKid, an online English education platform for children, plans to launch bilingual courses on ‘intangible cultural heritage’ in the near future. The course will cover eight topics related to cultural heritage, integrating Chinese culture, local conditions and customs with daily English skills.
This novel approach will provide a brand-new bilingual literacy course tailored for children aged 7-10. In preparation for the course, the VIPKid team has taken nearly one year to complete real-life photography shoots all over China, offering students a glimpse into eight aspects of intangible cultural heritage.
Among the eight classes are Yuxian paper-cutting, Foshan new year wood block painting, colored stone mosaics, Yewang ware, Miao cross-stitch work, Ru porcelain, Peking opera make-up and Nantong blue calico. VIPKid’s team will work to impart intangible culture and skills to students, integrating English vocabulary and phrases of over 100 related topics, as well as related knowledge such as China’s twenty-four solar terms.
This course consists of 24 individual 20-minute recorded lessons,, with each theme comprising of three lessons with one related craft. It provides various content including animation, video explanations, interactive quizzes, behind-the-scenes footage and other features. Handicraft courses are another selling point to attract children.
In addition, this course is equipped with a bilingual picture book entitled “Intangible Cultural Heritage at Children’s Fingertips,” designed by the VIPKid team. The firm claims that the book’s more than 80 interactive details allow children to feel Chinese culture and collect educational memories without leaving home.
According to a statement from VIPKid, “every child is the inheritor and promoter of excellent Chinese traditional culture. I hope that more children can discover the beauty of China and enhance their cultural self-confidence through VIPKid’s bilingual courses on intangible cultural heritage. At the same time, this is another attempt for VIPKid to promote international cultural exchanges by ‘telling Chinese stories well and making Chinese voices heard’.”
Recently, China’s General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued a decree entitled “Opinions on Further Strengthening the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage”. In the document, authorities argue that intangible cultural heritage is an important part of Chinese traditional culture. By 2035, they contend that intangible cultural heritage will be fully and effectively protected, the vitality of inheritance will be significantly enhanced, and heritage conservation will be further rooted in the hearts of the people.
Recently, all major private education institutions in China are seeking transformation. In April this year, Zuoyebang set up an independent brand dubbed “Deer Literacy Course,” which incorporates calligraphy, art and other topics, and took quality education products unrelated to entrance examinations as a new starting point. In June, First Leap, an education brand of TAL, added English drama, eloquence, aesthetic education, calligraphy, puzzles and chess into its courses, instead of only teaching children English.