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Mrs. Plumberg’s Newsroom

Mrs. Plumberg’s Newsroom

(Click here for 中文版 Chi­nese ver­sion)

Han­wen School is part­ner­ing with Mrs. Plumberg’s News­room to offer the more advanced young Man­darin Chi­nese learn­ers in the East Bay Com­mu­ni­ties a new series of work­shops focus­ing on cur­rent affairs based on the lat­est, hottest news sto­ries. The pro­gram con­sists of three stand­alone ses­sions filled with story-telling, news read­ing, group dis­cus­sion and activ­i­ties.

These two-hour ses­sions will be held on Sun­day after­noon (2pm-4pm) in Octo­ber and Novem­ber at Han­wen School: Octo­ber 29Novem­ber 5Novem­ber 12

Register for classes using RESO.IO

 What do we want to achieve?

  • Expand participant’s Chi­nese lan­guage repos­i­to­ry and enhance famil­iar­i­ty with the appro­pri­ate usage of words, idioms and slangs in the cor­rect con­text
  • Encour­age crit­i­cal think­ing in scru­ti­niz­ing infor­ma­tion gath­ered through tra­di­tion­al news sources, blogs and social media
  • Obtain knowl­edge of cur­rent affairs and basic under­stand­ing of the his­to­ry behind the cho­sen hot top­ics
  • Cul­ti­vate a life-long habit of news read­ing to be an inde­pen­dent thinker and an informed cit­i­zen of the world

Who are these workshops designed for?

Young Chi­nese learn­ers aged 10–14 who can speak, read and write basic Chi­nese are the pri­ma­ry audi­ence of this series. How­ev­er, please do con­tact Han­wen for a dis­cus­sion if you are above this age group and are inter­est­ed in the work­shop. We will try our best to accom­mo­date based on your unique needs.

Program Elements

  • Sto­ry telling by the train­er to set the foun­da­tion for writ­ing, brain­storm­ing, dis­cus­sions and group activ­i­ties
  • News clips, video, pho­tos, maps, music, and work­sheets may be uti­lized to facil­i­tate effec­tive, fun learn­ing. Lim­it­ed Eng­lish mate­ri­als will only be used to com­pen­sate knowl­edge gaps on cer­tain top­ics
  • Par­tic­i­pants are required to lis­ten, speak, read and write in Chi­nese dur­ing the work­shop
  • Inter­na­tion­al per­spec­tives and oppos­ing opin­ions will be incor­po­rat­ed when/where appro­pri­ate
  • We main­tain a friend­ly, respect­ful and respon­si­ble learn­ing envi­ron­ment. Hate speech and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry atti­tudes will not be accept­ed.

Program Details

# Top­ic Work­shop Descrip­tion
1 Hur­ri­canes, Earth­quakes, and Wild­fire: The nat­ur­al dis­as­ters and how to pre­pare for them We are expe­ri­enc­ing a remark­able hur­ri­cane and wild­fire sea­son this year, while neigh­bor­ing Mex­i­co is recov­er­ing from two dev­as­tat­ing earth­quakes.  We’ll look into these nat­ur­al dis­as­ters, com­pare the threats they bring to our fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, and assem­ble our own emer­gency pre­pared­ness kits based on best prac­tices.
2 “Rock­et Man” Goes Rogue: The Sto­ry of the Kore­an penin­su­la and the super pow­ers around it The North Kore­an cri­sis has been occu­py­ing inter­na­tion­al news for months with no sign of relief. Pres­i­dent Trump has called its leader Kim Jong-un “a Rock­et Man on a sui­cide mis­sion” in his UN speech. This Rock­et Man, a third gen­er­a­tion leader of North Korea, is full of mys­tery and colour­ful sto­ries and a sub­ject of the Amer­i­can com­e­dy film “The Inter­view”, which led to the hack­ing of Sony Pic­tures by alleged­ly North Kore­an hack­ers.   This ses­sion tells the sto­ries of the Kim fam­i­ly and its intri­cate rela­tion­ships with South Korea, Japan, Chi­na, Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States.
3 Ten years of iPhone: How busi­ness­es around the globe work togeth­er to make your iPhone, and the con­tro­ver­sies involved Fol­low­ing Apple’s recent prod­uct announce­ments, the much hyped iPhone X will be shipped out in ear­ly Novem­ber, mark­ing anoth­er mile­stone. This ses­sion will exam­ine the glob­al “iPhone Econ­o­my” and the geopol­i­tics behinds it, giv­ing you in-depth sto­ries behind this pop­u­lar gad­get.


Fees and take-away:

  • $30 per session/per per­son; or $75/per per­son if sign­ing up for all three ses­sions before the first ses­sion starts
  • Par­tic­i­pants who sign up for all three ses­sions are enti­tled to an addi­tion­al 30-minute one-on-one pri­vate tutor­ing, post work­shops, to review learn­ings and dis­cuss how to uti­lize news resources for Chi­nese lan­guage acqui­si­tion
  • Par­tic­i­pants will bring home a ref­er­ence on reli­able news sources in Chi­nese lan­guage and a key-word vocab­u­lary list cor­re­spond­ing to each top­ic

About the Instructor: Heather Hsieh Plumberg

Heather spent 15 years work­ing in Taipei, New York, Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore as a jour­nal­ist and a cor­po­rate and mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­al con­sult­ing with multi-national com­pa­nies head­quar­tered in East Asia, the U.S, the Mid­dle East and Europe. She is also a moth­er of a bilin­gual child who is grow­ing up in this dig­i­tal age inun­dat­ed with mobile gad­gets, fake news, and con­tra­dic­to­ry infor­ma­tion. Com­bin­ing her work and life expe­ri­ence, her per­son­al pas­sion in his­to­ry, and a mis­sion to fos­ter glob­al cit­i­zens that are well-informed, tol­er­ant, and inde­pen­dent thinkers, Heather start­ed “Mrs. Plumberg’s News­room” in 2017 offer­ing coach­ing, work­shops and one-on-one tutor­ing to com­mu­ni­ties in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area. Heather holds a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Jour­nal­ism and His­to­ry from Taiwan’s old­est and most pres­ti­gious jour­nal­ism pro­gram at Nation­al Chengchi Uni­ver­si­ty, and a Mas­ter of Arts degree in Jour­nal­ism and Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with her hus­band and son in Albany, Cal­i­for­nia. For more infor­ma­tion about Heather, click here.