China in Plain English

Two Intrepid Explorers. One Big China. Zero Dictionaries.

The Center for Global Education's China Learning Initiatives is pleased to present the second series in its China Straight Up project, China in Plain English. This 11-episode series follows Howie Southworth and Greg Matza as they make their way through China—neither of them speaks Mandarin. Through their adventures and misadventures, we learn about China through a new and fascinating lens.

The series can be used in classrooms in many different ways. For teachers and students, it can foster discussions that help build students' Chinese skills. For example, beginners can be asked to come up with the right questions in Chinese that Howie and Greg should have asked. More advanced students can discuss in Chinese what they would do in a similar situation—in a country where they don't understand the language.

For more general audiences, China in Plain English is a way to show that travel in China is totally possible, even with very little knowledge of the language.

China in Plain English is an 11-episode series, with each episode lasting 3-4 minutes. The episodes will be released weekly beginning in January 2017. Be sure to check back each week for the latest episode!

Episodes in the China in Plain English Series

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    In the last episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza continue their exploration of health and wellness in China.
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    In the tenth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza continue their exploration of health and wellness in China.
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    In the ninth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza seek mummies.
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    In the eighth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza visit the Wang Family Compound in the ancient city of Ping Yao.
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    In the seventh episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza visit the ancient city of Ping Yao, founded in the 14th century.
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    In the sixth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza visit the Forbidden City and get recommendations for where to go next.
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    In the fifth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza continue their tour of China through food.
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    In the fourth episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza continue their tour through Chinese cuisine.
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    In the third episode of the 11-episode China in Plain English series, Howie Southworth and Greg Matza tour China through its diverse and delicious cuisine.
  • series
    This 11-episode series follows Howie Southworth and Greg Matza as they make their way through China—but neither of them speaks Mandarin. In this second episode, Howie and Greg attempt to visit an older part of the Great Wall of China.

Connect With Us

China Learning Initiatives
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
t: 212-327-9260
chinese@asiasociety.org

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China Straight Up

  • A project that aims at making the learning about China more fun and engaging.
  • The Great LOL of China video series with Jesse Appell explores modern Chinese people and society from a foreigner’s perspective and an emphasis on the humor in cross-cultural misadventures.