Obies Using Languages: Brendan Nuse ’17

Brendan Nuse is a fourth-year double major, studying Environmental Studies as well as East-Asian Studies with a Concentration in Chinese Language, Literature, & Film. Below is a summary of his experience teaching at a Chinese summer camp for the summer of 2016.

I spent the summer as a Residential Educator at the Middlebury Monterey Language Academy at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. The program is basically a high school summer camp specifically for intense Chinese-language study. The students take language classes with their Professors in the morning, but in the afternoon they get to choose from a spread of activities and clubs. For example, we would go swimming or lead nature walks and that was really cool because the students learned interesting vocabulary they wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

As a Residential Educator I got to lead a club of my own choice, so I taught about the culture of a specific group of Chinese-ethnic minorities. It was for students with a higher language level so we were really able to focus on the anthropology of the subject, which was great for enhancing their experience with the language itself. I also got to interact with lower-level students, including one who hadn’t learned any Chinese at all before. It was awesome to watch them grow and see the huge improvements in their language skills by the end of the summer. I potentially want to be a Chinese Teacher, so this was definitely the perfect experience to try it out and realize how much I really do love it.


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