My name is Chris Mackins. I have a Degree in English with philosophy and I write poetry and I also write about cultural difference. I have been teaching English in China for four years. For most of my life I have been in business and my companies have worked all over the world in underwater Civil Engineering making bridges and harbours. I like walking, cycling and fishing, especially I like to travel and have been to many places in China in the time I have been here. I have seven brothers and sisters, and I have two children who live in England.
I like to teach English by engaging students in real discussions about things that concern them or will make them think and argue with me. I strongly believe that all the English lessons my students have attended over their years at High school and University give them a good foundation, but until a student learns to speak what they are thinking they are not using English, they are only making noises without any meaning. I expect my students to learn many things in my classes from the topics we discuss and the learning skills I try to show them, from taking notes and group working to research skills.
I am impressed with this University in many ways, from the competent and friendly management of the International Office and the Teaching Office, to the nice village atmosphere in and around the school.
I know that it is impossible to teach English to students who are not interested and it is encouraging to find that most of the students I have in my classes so far are keen and take an active part in the lessons.For those students who ask how to improve their English – only practice and real use of English can improve speaking. If we cannot speak a word we cannot hear it in our listening and the words we know how to write do not come into our heads if we do not speak them. There are no short cuts to learn a foreign language but we can make it easier by trying to speak the language with as many people as possible as often as possible.
My name is Brandon Green, I am a Canadian from a wonderful city near Toronto. This is my first time traveling outside of North America and my first time teaching students where I am seen as the foreigner. This is quite an enlightening experience!
I lead quite a busy life in Canada. Six years ago I started teaching music and drums to students privately. This was a great start to teaching. It gave me an opportunity at a very young age to face teaching challenges head on and I learned to adapt to different students needs. For the last 3 years I have been working as a Fitness Professional at Persechini Fitness. My role is to teach people of all ages and states to use their body in order to stay healthy. I teach them how to lift weights and some basic nutrition ideas. I apply physics to my hands on approach of teaching. I feel that physics helps make the experience a lot more real instead of a dogmatic approach. I personally find that giving reason behind everything is very important. Offering information to students and telling them to do an assignment because you said so, does not sit well with me. Having proof that what you are doing will benefit your students and incorporating that into your lesson can greatly increase motivation.
I still classify myself as a student, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Not one person can ever learn enough. Life is full with much information and many experiences. I personally want to be the best person that I can be in life, as an employee, husband, father, son and every other title I may have. I personally feel every student should strive to learn more and more. In Canada I am now studying Neuro-Muscular Physiology and I will use this in a therapeutic manor to help people. While I continue to educate myself further in other fields.
My advice to students,
Never stop learning, you can never know enough.
Everything you learn, Apply it! If you want be a better basket ball player you play lots of basketball. If you want to speak better English, speak lots of English.
Ask questions and do not be afraid of making mistakes.
Hello, my name is Renee and I’m from a little town located in Ontario, Canada. This is my first time coming to China, and being an English teacher.
In school, you learn how to prepare for culture shock, and what to expect in different cultural surroundings. So I thought I would be well prepared when I came to China but it is hard to fully understand culture shock unless you live it. China is very different from Canada and it took me a while to adapt. It is very hard being far away from your family, but what helped me the most was being surrounded by such lovely people. The administrative staff, student assistants, teacher assistants, and students are all so kind and helpful. I have never met such welcoming and generous people before. The people at HUT are such a wonderful group to be surrounded by and meeting these people made it easier to adjust to the different cultural standards. The delicious food of Wuhan has also helped! China is a unique country and an experience I am so grateful to have received. China has something so beautiful that no other country can compete with.
I teach EFL and Communications II at HUT. To ensure that students learn best it is important to always practice speaking English. If you are able to speak English, then writing, reading, and listening will only come natural to you. It is important to practice speaking at any opportunity you get. I also believe that interaction among students and classmates is also very important. By working together you further yours, and your classmates learning. You are able to collaborate your ideas and find the correct solutions. By working together you gain the most from your learning experience. I would also like to say that do not be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural way of life. Life is made up of right and wrong, and by learning what is wrong (by making mistakes) you learn what is right. Although making mistakes can be discouraging, you must remember that in the end you learn what is correct, and without making that mistake you would have never known the true answer.
I’m Travis, from America.
I first came to China in August 2008 and am happy to report that it has turned out well for me. All things considered, it has turned out far better than I imagined and I would not rather be doing anything else right now.
That being said, life in China is not for everyone. I encourage anyone interested in coming here to do plenty of research beforehand. Think hard about it. And when you do research, keep in mind that many hold a highly romanticized view of both teaching and life in general here and there are many who exploit this in order to draw in new teachers. Be careful. Choose wisely.
Since this is an oral English class, I try to create a relaxing atmosphere where students can feel free to express themselves.Students should not fear making mistakes—if they hope to become
competent in a foreign language, especially one so different from their mother tongue, then it will take years of practice and only be making mistakes and then being corrected on them can they improve.
I also make myself accessible to my students outside of class in case a more informal setting will help them. All in all I’d say the foreign teacher serves a valuable role in China’s EFL Industry and brings a skill set to the table that complements that of the Chinese English Teachers.
Philip Anderson and Sean Morton
Hello, we are Philip Anderson and Sean Morton, the newest members of the foreign teaching staff here at HBUT. We come from Surrey, in England, where we went to school together, and we are thrilled to be here at Hubei University of Technology!
We are very excited to begin our teaching careers here in Wuhan, and already feel settled in the place we will be calling home for the next few months of our lives. This is especially thanks to the friendly welcome we have received from everyone at the International Office, as well as all our enthusiastic English students, who have helped to make our first lessons as teachers so easy. We thank you all for this.
Having travelled around China for one month before arriving at HBUT, we have seen many of the attractions that this wonderfully varied and unique country offers; from the grandeur of the Great Wall of China, in Beijing, to the Dragons Backbone Rice Fields, in Guangxi.
We hope to become as much part of this school as all of you who read this article, and we want to be able to teach you as much about England and its cultures, as we have already learnt about China.
And now a little about ourselves:
Hi, my name is Phil, I’m 23 years old, and recently graduated from Southampton University, in England, where I studied History and Politics. I have coached sport in schools in New Zealand and England, but this is my first experience as a fully fledged teacher! China is a place I have wanted to come for many years, and my time here has already been unforgettable.
And I’m Sean, and since graduating from Leeds University, England two years ago, I have travelled throughout the world, have met lots of interesting people and am very excited about the challenges that teaching in China will bring. I love meeting new people, and I am looking forward to making some lasting friendships in the coming year.
We look forward to seeing everyone around Campus!