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Peer Review

Young and Restless in China

by Sue Williams


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Nov 16, 2008 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: This site presents “an intimate look into the lives of nine young Chinese, coming of age in a society that’s changing at breathtaking speed.” It is written and directed by Sue Williams for PBS’s FRONTLINE. These young Chinese include a rapper; a migrant worker; a rural housewife; an owner of an Internet-based tailoring company; an Internet café entrepreneur and consultant; a public interest lawyer; a businessman and hotel owner in Shenzhen; a marketing executive; and a medical resident who treats AIDS/HIV patients. Viewers can learn about the lives of five young men and four young women, and their hope and dilemma in facing challenges and struggles to succeed in the rapidly changing society of China.
Type of Material: Case study.
Recommended Uses: Students can be assigned to view selected readings or videos for class discussion or homework assignment.
Technical Requirements: Web browser and video player.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To inform viewers of internal and external cultural realities of young Chinese in modernization of China.
Target Student Population: Viewers who are interested in learning about the ever-changing society of China and how it affects the young generation. Also heritage learners and students of Chinese as a second/foreign language, as well as students of international business.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The website is published in English, including English subtitles in videos; therefore, no knowledge of Chinese language is necessary.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site portrays how contemporary young Chinese endeavor to succeed in Modern China through careers and entrepreneurships. Viewers will be better informed through case studies at a microcosmic level of the Chinese society. The contents can be easily integrated into instruction or used as supplemental learning material to enhance students’ understanding of current Chinese culture and business practices. The material is particularly helpful to students of international business and economics, and other related disciplines.
Concerns: A major drawback is that the site is entirely in English, hence it does not help students to hone their skills in business Chinese language.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Besides the well-produced videos, this site provides biographical sketches of the nine young Chinese, narration of today’s China, relevant music, online discussion, teacher’s guide, and live chat with Producer Sue Williams, among others.
Concerns: In order to take full advantage of the resources, viewers would need to have medium to advanced English listening and reading skills.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site covers the depth and width of the topic and provides a rich multimedia environment that is engaging and educational. Navigation is well designed and user friendly.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States