Connecting Mandarin and English,
Plans are Evolving - We're Headed to China
(March 5, 2008) (return
not a new idea nor a life long dream to teach English in China. The idea
was kindled by stories about how difficult it was to advance educationally
in China because one required to know English in high school and to enter
college.Of course, English was not readily available to the poor families
in the villages. The flames of interest grew when we discovered the warmth
and compassion of Chinese students in the Masters program at Western Oregon
University (WOU) where we teach. The first student we met almost immediately
gave us contact information.
As the number of international students in
the Masters program increased from one to three to eight to more than thirty,
our relationships evolved where Gail and I have been given the names Mama
and Baba by both Chinese and Saudi students. Through these new found children
we have discovered friends around the world and one has arranged for us
to teach in China during the fall term 2008. We have signed two contracts,
one in English and one in Chinese, and we hope that they are the same. We
will be teaching English at Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal University
(JSTU) in Nanchang, Jiangxi Providence. We describes the location of Nanchang
as we would describe Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, in the south
and in from the east coast.
Our contact in at JSTU is Kan Zhang, the father
of Weiwei Zhang, who is the first international student to complete her
MS Ed-IT at WOU. We look for to his wife's (Yiqi Chen) visit to Oregon for
Weiwei's graduation this spring. I are praying that she will be granted
the necessary visa to travel to America.
A note about Chinese names:
I have written the names of Weiwei Zhang, Kan Zhang and Yiqi Chen
using the American format: personal name first and family name last.
In china the names would be written in reverse order, Zhang Weiwei,
Zhang Kan and Chen Yiqi. You will note that the daughter
Weiwei has the same family name as her father Kan but the mother
retains her family name Chen.
The pronunciations would be approximately "way-way jong",
"con jong" and "ee-chee chen". These names will
return to this blog as we already have developed a friendship with
The next step will be to complete the medical
exams with our doctors to determine our health. We've seen the forms and
it seems like there is some concern about our sanity and Sars.
We would love to hear from you; your comments, your questions and your suggestions.
For security purposes we ask that you send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will post the messages