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Language shared with SE Asian children

By Li Yang ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-05-15 08:01:12

While Hepu is no longer a main port on the maritime Silk Road as it was some 2,000 year ago, its people-to-people exchanges with Southeast Asia have not ceased. Some teachers from Hepu are teaching or have taught in foreign countries through the Chinese government's foreign aid program. Some of them shared their opinions and feelings about their overseas experiences with China Daily.

Among them is He Yuxuan, who went to teach in Cambodia last year. "It is my first time teaching in a foreign country. Many details of the past year are memorable," He said. "I like the wonderful experience of working and living in Cambodia, even if I am homesick a lot."

"My Cambodian colleagues are warm-hearted and friendly to help me to adapt to local life, both socially and environmentally," she said.

He said she is no outsider, but a member of the school. "I am outspoken in suggesting workable solutions to the school's problems."

"The children are shy and timid. I encourage them to speak out their ideas and raise questions confidently in the classroom."

Li Caixia, who taught Chinese language and Chinese culture in Cambodia from July 2012 to June 2013, said she had serious esophagitis and fever when she first arrived in Cambodia.

"But I knew my time was limited, so I never missed a class, in spite of the illness," Li said.

Language shared with SE Asian children

In addition to Chinese language, she also taught the children classic Chinese songs, dancing, painting and calligraphy.

"I am happy the children like my class very much and are interested in Chinese culture," she said.

Deng Liqin, another Chinese language teacher from Hepu, who stayed in Cambodia from 2012 to 2013, said she likes the Cambodian children very much.

"They are so lovely and dependent on me. I am not only their teacher but more importantly their friend," Deng said.

"I tried some new teaching methods in class according to their culture and characteristics, and paid special attention to creating a language environment," she recalled.

Xu Guiben taught Chinese language and culture in a middle school in Laos, as well as adult classes from August 2015 to July 2016.

"It was an eye-opening experience for me," Xu said. "The workload was heavy. I had nearly 30 classes every week."

"Although life was bitter there, the memory is sweet here," she said. "Local people's life is slow-paced. The students are not as hard-working as the Chinese students. But they are very happy and content with their life."

Xu Qingyan, a music teacher in a middle school in Laos in 2014, said she was not that fluent in the Lao language, but music helped her to communicate with the students.

"The teaching experience was unforgettable. Three years on, the children still remain in my dreams even now."

(China Daily 05/15/2017 page34)

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