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Lv Juanjuan: We Are on the Road of International Mandarin Chinese Promotion

release date :2013-09-04 11:28:45  |   [ close window ]ViewCount:
Author: News Center of BIT Zhao Lin

【Editor’s note】In today's vigorous development of Confucius institute, there is a group of the international Chinese teaching volunteers who are far from home and family, being a teacher in foreign countries in their most beautiful years , in order to fulfill the sacred mission of promoting Chinese and spreading Chinese culture to the world. Recently, the reporter interviewed the representative of Chinese teaching volunteer in the Confucius Institute of university of Saskatchewan – Lv Juanjuan.

   In the Confucius Institute of university of Saskatchewan, Canada, I saw the teaching volunteer Lv Juanjuan. She is a kind and friendly girl. In the following interview, I learned about her life experience.

   Lv Juanjuan was born in 1987 in Tai’an , Shangdong province. She graduated from Shandong Normal University majoring in Chinese international education. During 2011, when she was in the first year of her master’s degree, she was recommended to take part in the national Chinese teaching volunteer selection . After the first and the second interview, she finally won through the selection. After three months of short-term training abroad, JuanJuan went to South Korea in 2011 at the end of August and taught Chinese in Woosuk University, South Korea for 1 year. In April 2013, she was sent to university of Saskatchewan in Canada as a Chinese volunteer teacher.
                                                                                                Choose it For Love

 
Lv Juanjuan majored in publishing in Qingdao Institute of Technology but chose Chinese international education as her major because she was influenced by a career planning course in the fourth year in the university. The teacher said that the career related to Chinese international education has a bright future, and it is easy to get a job with a certificate in this field. And the difference between the Chinese international education (CIE) and Teaching Chinese as Foreign Language (TCAFL) is that CIE focuses on practice while TCAFL on research. Compared to TCAFL, the graduates of Chinese international education have more chances to be Chinese teacher overseas, so Juanjuan chose this major.

    Lv Juanjuan was interested in Chinese culture since her childhood, and she loved writing in her high school years. She also read many books about Chinese culture when she was preparing her master degree’s examination. Because of these, she understands Chinese culture thoroughly and her willingness to promote Chinese grows stronger and stronger.

Training helps Integrate Into Local Society
    After Lv Juanjuan was selected as a volunteer teacher in Woosuk University of Korea, she took part in a three month training .The training encompasses talent courses, teaching courses , culture courses and language courses. Talent courses include compulsory courses and optional courses. Compulsory courses include Tai chi, Chinese knot and paper-cut. Optional courses include calligraphy, painting, cucurbit flute, Chinese opera and dance. Juanjuan picked Chinese knot, paper-cut and dance. The first two courses were much easier to learn. In addition to talent courses there are teaching methodology lessons, because some of the volunteer teachers are students from other majors like English major, math major or even art major. The teaching methodology courses include morpheme training, classroom management and game design. Culture and language training prepare volunteers to fit in local society better. After the training, every volunteer teacher would have a certificate.
 
Comparison of Chinese-teaching Between South Korea and Canada
 Confucius Institute in Woosuk University was established in 2009, Juanjuan was responsible of teaching advanced Chinese communication and HSK courses. The students are mainly college students who have studied Chinese or who have Chinese related background, for example, attending high school in China. Juanjuan can communicate with them in simple Chinese.

    In South Korea, many people including students are studying Chinese. Juanjuan not only teaches in Woosuk but also teaches optional Chinese course in a boy high school- Xinxing high school. The minority languages in that school include Chinese, Japanese, German and Russian. Juanjuan heard that several years ago, most people chose to learn Japanese, but now the number of students learning Chinese has exceeded that of students learning Japanese. South Koreans learn Chinese Characters at a very young age. Because of the increase of Chinese courses, the school applied for a Confucius course, and employed a professional teacher to give lectures.
 
    Because of the large number of people learning Chinese, the Chinese teaching will be more systematic in South Korea, grammar will be included. The teachers from Xinxing high school usually give boring lectures, that is pure language teaching. However, Juanjuan will add some games which make the students more interested in.
 
    In Canada, Juanjuan mainly be responsible of Chinese courses in a public school-Brandskill, established by the cooperation of Confucius institute and university of Saskatchewan. Compared with Mandarin fever in South Korea, less people learn Chinese in Canada. So when Juanjuan is having lectures in Brandskill, she always provides some games to attract students’ attention. For example, when she teaches them nouns, she asks students to play the game named “turnip squat”. She designed the headgears herself, the front side of which being the picture of the vegetables and the back side being Chinese characters. She lets them first be familiar with these characters and then play the game. Students are extremely fond of this game, and by this way, they memorize with efficiency. At first, they don’t know the word “squat”, but by playing game, they understand and memorize it quickly. This game is designed by Juanjuan herself according to the domestic variety show. This game was not successful in South Korea because Xinxing school is a boy school and culture in South Korea is conservative. In Canada, however, students love this game.

    Canadians like camping. They go camping during both summer and winter vacation. In her first week in Canada, Juanjuan had the chance to experience four days’ Easter camping. She taught the kids some simple Chinese, Chinese chess, Chinese calligraphy, traditional instruments, and introduced tourist sites in China.

    Saskatchewan has an adoption association where Chinese kids are being adopted by Canadian parents. They hope their kids could learn more about Chinese culture and have contact with other Chinese children. At the same time, these parents themselves want to learn Chinese traditions. So the camp held by Confucius Institute is welcomed by them.
 
    Juanjuan said what impressed her most is that when having classes in Canada, the whole class are active and study hard with high efficiency. The students are smart with high receptivity. Some students acquire good pronunciation and have talent in learning language. If she could teach longer and more systematic, she would gain more sense of achievement. What moved Juanjuan most is that every student in class made cards with their Chinese name on it and sent the card to her spontaneously when they knew the course will end in the end of June in this year.
 
                                                                Working at Confucius Institute Makes Me More Mature

    Because Confucius Institute was just established, there are not many students . Teaching does not account a big proportion in Juanjuan’s daily life. She still does other jobs such as propaganda and reception. For example, if someone from China comes, she will write reports. Because she is responsible for writing in Korea, she continues to exert her writing talent. In the recent folk song competition, she helped president Yu to design flyers, set types and record videos. These extra works made Juanjuan into a well-rounded person.
 
    Colleagues in Confucius Institute always help each other. Juanjuan said: “president Yu cares about the teachers in Confucius Institute very much. When I and another volunteer just arrived here and felt unfamiliar with this place, he told us the matters needing attention. Assistant Zhao Dan led us to go shopping. The teachers of Beijing Language and Culture university also provided us with a lot of information. The atmosphere in Confucius is excellent. Everyone’s goal is to promote the Confucius Institute, and spread our culture to Canadian citizens.”The Confucius Institute takes care of us, helps us, offers us a platform to learn and steel ourselves. The students trust us, encourage us. Thanks to all the people who has helped us! As a Chinese volunteer teacher, I would like to say that the time being there would be our cherished memory, and a beginning for our broader career.!”

    Speaking of the feeling in Canada, Juanjuan said: “the natural environment here is great, the land is vast and the facilities are completed. The Canadians are friendly. Working and living in here, one would be happy.“ According to the policy, international Chinese teaching volunteers can only have three-year term, and can not stay in a country more than two years. So Juanjuan can not continue to work as international Chinese teaching volunteer. About her future career plan, she indicated that she would like to pursue jobs in China, she might take the exam of being a civil servant or be a teacher in primary or secondary school where is close to home. Although when she comes back, she will face the stress of finding a job, she shows no regrets of the two years’ teaching. Because her experiences are richened and she has memories of these splendid times. Besides, the experience of being an international Chinese volunteer teacher is helpful to finding a job . For instance, when she came back from South Korea, several schools showed their interest in her teaching experience in South Korea, she could have found a decent job without going to Canada.

    The promotion of Mandarin Chinese has a long way to go. More and more people would be international Chinese volunteer teacher in the future. They will continue their mission, carry the expectation from their motherland and remember the “sense of glory, sense of mission ,sense of responsibility” of Chinese culture promotion. There is no doubt that they will use their youth to build the dreams and make their contributions for promoting Chinese culture year after year.


 
 



   
 


 

 

 

 
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