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|Between February 1988 and March of 1991 I lived
and taught in the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong. I went to China
to teach and took every opportunity to teach that was offered to me - so
there were many opportunities - in both formal and informal situations.
I came to China under the sponsorship of University Language Services.
The pictures on this page are between 8K and 56K in size and load pretty fast. I will try to add others later as I get them scanned in. Your picture will be taken while you are a "foreign guest" in China. Yunnan Province has a population of about 35,000,000 Han and minority people - the number of foreign semi-long term residents was about 70 in 1989 - you may or may not be aware of your picture (18K) being taken - often your students will bring a copy after publication.
Kunming Teacher Training College did a little article (10K) about me in the school paper when I arrived.
My students were from the rural counties of Yunnan. They were training to be English teachers for middle schools and high schools located outside of the provincial capital of Kunming. Many of the students expressed the idea that their college years would probably be some of their best since they knew when they returned to their villages that there might be little opportunity to travel back to the capital city. The school had a very modern language lab (8K) from Japan that I used much of the time. During each school holiday, I had the opportunity to travel to rural areas and visit the hometowns and future schools of my students. Most of my classes had between 30 and 40 students. Many elementary classes I visited had up to 50 students.
Within Kunming, I often had a chance to visit elementary, middle, high and special interest schools. Every Sunday, I met with friends and we held what is known in China as "English Corner" - ours was "English Tea House" (38K). Adults of all kinds came for an informal 3-4 hours session where we exchanged ideas - and languages. Through these sessions, we were able to make friends with Chinese English speakers in many different occupations. We were often invited to their place of employment. Here we are visiting a preschool that specialized in teaching young students English.
Our school was located within Kunming on property that used to belong to a local warlord. Some of the building were very old but beautiful and still served as classrooms. This building was a classroom for the college night school classes. Here I am with several of my night school students (14K) - many had hopes of traveling to an English speaking country in the future.
At one point, I convinced Mr. Young, the president of the college that I should be teaching the college English teachers. I got my picture in the Yunnan Ribao (12K picture) for my efforts. Most foreign teachers were expected to teach only 9-12 hours per week! I didn't want to "get out of shape" - become lazy about work, so I often took on extra classes. Here is a list of the classes that I taught:
Spr. '88 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 8 hours Speaking and Listening Level 2 2 hours Extensive Reading Level 2 2 hours Newspapers Level 3 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE NIGHT SCHOOL 2 hours Oral English Adult 14 TOTAL HOURS
Fall '88 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 8 hours Speaking and Listening Level 2 2 hours Extensive Reading Level 2 2 hours American Newspapers Level 3 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE NIGHT SCHOOL 2 hours American & British History Adult KUNMING METALLURGY COLLEGE 2 hours Speaking and Listening Level 2 YUNNAN CENTER OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES, KUNMING 4 hours Advanced Oral English Advanced Adult 20 TOTAL HOURS
Spr. '89 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 8 hours Speaking and Listening Level 2 2 hours Extensive Reading Level 2 2 hours American Magazines Level 3 4 hours Speaking and Listening Level 1 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE NIGHT SCHOOL 2 hours Composition Adult 2 hours British & American History Adult YUNNAN CENTER OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES 4 hours Advanced T.O.E.F.L. Advanced Adults 24 TOTAL HOURS
Fall '89 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 4 hours British & American History Level 3 4 hours English Literature Level 3 4 hours Composition Level 3 4 hours Oral English Level 2 4 hours Oral English Level 1 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE NIGHT SCHOOL 2 hours Oral English Adult 2 2 hours Composition Adult YUNNAN CENTER OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES 4 hours Advanced T.O.E.F.L. Advanced Adults 28 TOTAL HOURS Feb. '90 KAIYUAN, Yunnan Province Spr. '90 KUNMING TEACHER TRAINING COLLEGE 8 hours Speaking and Listening Level 2 2 hours Extensive Reading Level 2 2 hours American Magazines Level 3 4 hours Speaking and Listening Level 1 16 TOTAL HOURS June '90 GEJIU - Tin Mining Corporation of Yunnan
The sessions at Kaiyuan and Gejiu (very close to the boarder with North Vietnam) were special sessions that were organized by the local education authority and approved by the Yunnan Department of Education and the Foreign Affairs Office of Yunnan. We were paid about very well by Chinese standards for 10/12 days of teaching - during our summer vacation - but we taught at least 8 hours per day - 6 days a week.
I had friends that taught in Yuxi, south of Kunming and so made several trips down to that community. It was famous for making cigarettes - some of the best paying jobs in the area were at that factory.
Another friend taught in Anning to the west of Kunming. This was a forestry school but Anning was noted for hot springs - and we made trips there to visit and for unlimited hot baths!
At times the Foreign Affairs Office of Yunnan organized events for the
"foreign guests" to attend. We saw beautiful cultural events,
(34K picture)and many areas of the province that had been closed to foreigners
for more than 40 years. It was a wonderful experience. Sun
Yi (41K picture) on a trip to the boarder with Burma during the winter
holiday. Field trips,
picnics and student parties were part of the informal teaching that took
place all the time. I had a great time teaching and learning. Many things
that I learned about teaching while in China, helped me later with my teaching
of ESL students in the States. Would I go again? You bet!
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