Guest-teaching Chinese, and learning America

The New York Times reports that Zheng Yue, a young woman from China who is teaching her native language to students in this town on the Oklahoma grasslands, was explaining a vocabulary quiz on a recent morning. Then a student interrupted. “Sorry, I was zoning out,” said the girl, a junior wearing black eye makeup. “What are we supposed to be doing?” Zheng seemed taken aback but patiently repeated the instructions. “In China,” she said after class, “if you teach the students and they don’t get it, that’s their problem. Here if they don’t get it, you teach it again.” Zheng, 27, is teaching Chinese in Lawton–and learning a few things herself about American culture–because of a partnership between an agency of China’s Education Ministry and the College Board…

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Laura Ascione

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