18 Jul

Paul’s experience in China

We are proud to share that one of our Dutch teachers, Paul, who left for China in September of 2017, has made a deep impact on the school he has been employed by and the wider community in the region. Recently a Chinese newspaper published an article about him, as Paul has made quiet a name for himself as being an excellent teacher. We congratulate Paul for all of his achievements. We are very happy to say that China will welcome more teachers like him!

Below is the translated newspaper article describing Paul’s time in China!

Although Songgang Experimental School, having been established in September 2016, does not have a long history, it recently welcomed foreign teacher Paul, a tall and handsome Dutchman.

Paul was a high school history teacher in the Netherlands, but after starting his job at Songgang Experimental School, he became a teacher for oral English. Through the arrival of foreign teachers, this has not only brought schools in the region completely new teaching methods, but has also broadened the school’s current English teachers way of thinking about teaching English. The school’s headmaster Chen DanGeng expressed that he hopes to welcome more of such outstanding teachers, hoping to bring reform and development towards internationalisation.

The students’ interest has also increased greatly

Songgang Experimental School opened in September 2016, and is located on Shajiang Road, Songgang Street, not far from Zhao’an Town of Dongguan. Although the location is relatively remote, the school has a slogan stating “nine years rooted in a happy life”, which acts as the school’s philosophy. Furthermore the school is dedicated to acting as an example for other schools by being Shenzhen’s western door, and training students to become modern urban people with “good faith”.

When choosing a specialised sports course, the school also chose a rather specialised international project, football, hoping that it will help shape the students into calm and confident people. Recently, the school’s junior high school rugby team also received the honour of being invited by the Hong Kong Rugby Association to travel to Hong Kong to participate in the 2018 Hong Kong school Ruby League Tournament for the first time.

For this newly opened school, Bao’an District Education Bureau gave priority to attract the first foreign teacher. The school’s principle Chen DanGeng reasons that its a good and exciting thing for the school, the teachers, and the students. The arrival of foreign teachers will enhance the students’ English learning as well as the English teaching methods of the other teachers at the school and is even useful for the encouragement of the school’s international expansion.

Teacher Paul from the Netherlands is a tall, bright, and enthusiastic young man. “The presence of spoken-English foreign teachers not only inspires students’ enthusiasm for learning English but also improves the other school teacher’s oral English level. Xian Qiu Ting, a teacher at the school, expressed that Paul’s teaching style for each class is clear and distinct. Not only is the class content rich, but cultural exchanges  and interactions during class also increases the students interest.

On the one hand, the arrival of foreign teachers has expanded English teaching ideas for the English teachers of the school. Lesson preparation has modified and improved the classroom teaching quality.

Paul‘s teaching strategies, teaching methods, and rigorous work attitude all have positive enlightening effects on the school’s teachers. “For example, Paul finds authentic English songs combined with actions for every topic studied as a warm-up excersize, which greatly enhances students’ interest in learning; Paul also insists on the students using small props to assist in the classroom. After each class, they reflect, and discuss the results with our local teachers, in order to modify the courseware, etc. These teaching methods are admired by all.” Xian Qiuting said.

“The level of spoken English and the interest in learning English have been improved, and our teaching vision has also been expanded “ expressed Yi Yangxin, a teacher at the school.

Students personal development

Paul is currently responsible for the school’s second-year story book lesson and seventh-grade English listening and speaking class. Each class is weekly alongside a first-year weekly oral interest class, and a Grade 7 English special course.
When comparing the teaching methods of the two country, Paul states that “Chinese teaching involves teaching large group classes, while in the Netherlands, schools classroom sizes are small.” After arriving in China, he was also thinking about how to introduce Dutch teaching methods to Songgang Experimental School. This is reflected in some teaching ideas: for example, in oral English it is important to use proper prepositions. In order to teach this, he plays a game in which he arranges groups of four students to complete the mission “spider and box”. In this game, students have to paste different coloured spiders on four different positions of the box. This not only increases the interest of the classroom but also improves the cooperation and coordination among students.

With his teaching methods, Paul said that he was more intent on listening to students needs, especially those students who are behind in learning. In class, he has his own unique class model: The songs he chooses warm up the student’s emotions, then he stimulates interest in learning through spoken greetings, and continues to teach through group exercises. This is followed by checking the students work progress after the students have finished their excersizes. After a period of study, the students who were there from the beginning can understand the contents of the foreign teacher’s classes. However, by now, most of the students have been able to adapt well to the foreign teachers teaching style.

Outside of teaching, Paul has always insisted on learning Chinese. Currently he can speak basic Chinese and communicate with Chinese colleagues.
In the Netherlands, he is a high school history teacher. After coming to China, he was particularly interested in the history of China. “I know the history of the yellow River and the Yangtze River. When I read the stories of the flood control of these rivers, I especially admired the united Chinese bravery.” He also expressed that the Chinese people were very kind to him, whether it be his colleagues or a passerby on the street.

“As the size of our school continues to expand, the number of students will increase, and we hope that more outstanding foreign teachers like Paul will join the school. This will make us strive to improve our English teaching, and the level of English of our teachers and students, and to have a more international oriented view at our school” said principle Chen DanGeng.

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