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The city of Beijing is planned on a north-south grid, with Tiananmen Square - the political heart of the country - at its very centre. The square is flanked by Tiananmen to the north, Qian Men to the south, the Great Hall of the People to the west and the History Museum to the east. Tiananmen, or the Gate of Heavenly Peace, is where Chairman Mao proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic on 1 October 1949. Just north of the square lies the Imperial Palace (Gugong), also known as the Forbidden City as it was the private dwelling of the Ming and Qing emperors, their huge families and 70,000 eunuchs. It is an intricate maze of halls, temples, gardens and libraries.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
4 November 2010

Classroom Ideas

Prepare a question sheet for everyone in the class, with possible questions such as 'how to say west, east, south and north in Chinese' or 'how to ask for directions in Chinese'. Students need to find the answers and write them down while they watch the clip.
Students can practise what to say when they ask for directions, using the same language structure as in the clip. Invite groups of students to come to the front and perform the conversation, asking for direction to certain places.