On the 13th of February 2020, over 20 Mandarin Language students from the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) took part in a special learning experience hosted by the BS Bakery Shop in Klang for Traditional Chinese [芋粿 Kuih] Cake Baking Workshop. Mandarin Language Students with Wendy Kor Show Chooi at BS Bakery Shop in Klang. Thanks to the bakery’s generous and talented Wendy Kor Show Chooi, who has over 25 years of experience in the baking industry, the visiting students were introduced to the history of ‘紅龜粿’ Angku Kuih or Red Tortoise Cake, and ‘包子' Pau, a bread-like Chinese dumpling. The Mandarin Language students were also lucky enough to take part in a hands-on baking workshop, where they followed the lead of Kor, who has over 20 years of experience in conducting baking classes. During the workshop, participants were split into smaller groups and tasked to make the two traditional Chinese ‘芋粿’ Kuih or cakes from scratch. The process of baking and learning from Kor not only allowed the Mandarin Language students to replicate some famous traditional Chinese pastry recipes, but also gave them the chance to learn more about Chinese culture, as well as acquire more Mandarin vocabulary related to cooking and baking as they interacted with their groupmates and the bakers at BS Bakery Shop. According to UNM’s Mandarin Teaching Fellow, Kwan Hwee Ling, the students’ overall experience and feedback definitely fulfilled the aim of the field trip. Some of Kwan’s students even felt that the session exceeded their expectations, as they mentioned in their feedback that the bakery’s use of organic ingredients and the beautiful texture of their finished baked goods were beyond what they had hoped for. Noor Husna Ahmad Toha, the 3rd Year Mandarin Language Representative, agrees. She says, “The field trip was a fun and unique way to fulfil the Mandarin Language learning objectives. Besides being able to replicate some ‘top secret’ Chinese recipes, this experience provided us with real life interactions with authentic Chinese culture and native speakers, which is different from learning within the walls of the classroom”.
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