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By Jacqueline Thomas
it’s an amazing place where I had the opportunity to spend the month of July as
a volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Jiaozuo, Henan
Province. The trip was organized by
the Crane House, Louisville’s
own Asian cultural center offering educational and cultural programs to help
Americans and Asians become better acquainted..
You, too, can volunteer for the summer of 2011 ! (http://www.cranehouse.org)
my voyage, I was probably like most Americans who know little about China, its
geography, language, food, and people.
My eyes, ears, taste buds were ready for my Chinese reality check!
expectations of old buildings were shattered when we landed in Shanghai where the population is estimated
between 13 and 17 million. With the
current World Expo 2010 in progress, the city has exploded with new roads,
buildings, offerings for travelers. We
rose to the 100th, and top, floor of the
Shanghai World Financial
Center. Quite a view and a glass floor to see
down! Then, back to our hotel on the
Transrapid Shanghai Maglev Train. It
runs via electromagnetic levitation about 1/2 an inch above the track at a
speed of nearly 250 miles/hour. That’s
on to Jiaozuo, Henan province where many more surprises
is about 450 miles southwest of Beijing, a
little bit further than from Louisville to Atlanta. It is inland and has the same climate as Louisville, just add about
50% more humidity and more pollution.
The town was considered middle-sized for China with a population of 3.5
million inhabitants. Henan Province,
one of China’s 34 provinces,
is about the size of Kentucky and West Virginia
combined. BUT, it has a population of 92
million people i.e the equivalent of the populations of California,
Michigan, AND Kentucky combined!
teaching assignment took me to the Jiaozuo Teachers‘ College, a three-year
college which prepares students to join the ranks as educators. My first surprise was to learn that 40 to 50
students in a class was a ‘normal’ size for China. Yes, that’s normal with so many students to
educate. On the other hand, with no
discipline problems, I’ve never experienced such an easy task dealing with such
serious, enthusiastic, warm students! It
was a pleasure to help them in their
quest to master the English language.
One student stated at the final evaluation session, “I have now addicted
myself to the gorgeous world of English!”
What teacher wouldn’t be proud...
to China for yourself and be amazed!
For more info: http://www.cranehouse.org
Release Date: Apr 29, 2013
Release Date: Apr 19, 2013
Release Date: Apr 2, 2013
Release Date: Mar 29, 2013
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