To begin the session, Ariela introduced herself and invited the studentsto also introduce themselves by sharing their English/Chinese/Mongolian nameand answering the question, “What is your favorite book/ Who is your favoriteauthor?”. After introductions, the foreign teacher invited the participants toengage with an ice-breaker in which they must tell their life story in a singleminute. This is a fun exercise that allows for the students to get to know eachother, laugh, and feel more comfortable speaking English with each other.
Giving Self Introduction
After the ice-breaker, the foreign English
teacher introduced the theme of the discussion. She gave the students a short
article to read about Jack Ma’s role in helping to normalize the 996 practice
in China, as well as shared a short video that detailed some of the main points
and arguments about the 996 debate. Both the article and the video highlight
the main components of 996. It is a practice that essentially makes employees
work 9am to 9pm 6 days a week, especially in the country’s big technology companies
and startups. After viewing these two pieces of media, Ariela invited the
students to engage with the topic by asking them their own personal opinions
about the work-life balance, as well as detailing how the rest of the world
views this kind of work schedule such as America or European countries.
Many students could see the benefits but also
the cons of working a 996 schedule. In small groups the students were asked to
discuss the following questions: Does working longer hours lead to more productivity?
If you love your job is 996 a problem? Who benefits the most from 996? Who
benefits the least? What is the ideal work/life balance? How many hours would
YOU want to work in a day?
Ariela Preparing PPT for the English Salon
After this small group discussion, the salon was divided into two opposinggroups. One side of the group represented Jack Ma and his company and the otherside represented his employees. The two groups were asked to prepare theirarguments for their respective sides. Ariela acted as the mediator. The twogroups met separately to discuss their arguments for their respective pointsand to anticipate any rebuttals that the opposing side might present. Eachgroup then elected a group member to present their opening statements andproceed with the debate. Each side was only given up to 1 minute to speak. Theywere given a 10 second warning before Ariela, the mediator, cut them off. Eachside passionately argued for their opinions, and at the end of the debate itwas hard to choose a winner. All students participated so well! The debate wasa great success. The salon was concluded after the debate.