Visiting professor hopes to share language, culture
By Jager Dzurcanin - Staff Reporter
Dr. Yuexi Wang hopes that more students take her class next quarter so they can learn about Chinese culture.
Dr. Wang is an exchange professor from Shanghai, and is currently visiting America to teach at Highline for three quarters.
Highline has a relationship with Shanghai Jiao Tong Uni- versity in China, where pro- fessors are exchanged to teach their native languages.
Dr. Wang said that this pro- gram has been in place for near- ly 20 years now.
She has taught Chinese language this quarter, and will continue to in the Winter and Spring Quarters, though the class has a little more fla- vor than a typical language class.
"Sometimes I share with my class Chinese food, reli- gion, calligraphy, and art," said Dr. Wang, adding that "I think they can not only learn the Chinese language, they can also learn about Chinese culture." Her eyes were warm and ear-
nest, and she smiled genuinely between her words.
She seemed very passionate about her chance to share her culture overseas at an American school, saying "That is my pur- pose. I'd like to share Chinese culture."
Dr. Wang taught English for Academic Writing at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China.
She currently has fami-
ly back home in Shanghai as well, and is awaiting to return to them after Spring Quarter ends.
One of the biggest differenc- es she noticed about Highline is that "Sometimes students come in from different countries," she said, adding that she likes "to talk to people from different countries and learn different cultures."
She explained that in the past, the large majority of students in Shanghai were Chinese, though in recent years they have established a specific class for overseas stu- dents.
Dr. Wang had visited America before as well, say- ing "Five years ago I visited the University of Florida, but of course here is the North- west," so it's a little bit differ- ent this time.
She said that there is a large disparity in teaching American students as compared to teach- ing Chinese students.
"Some [American] students study very hard and can follow my schedule, but some others I worry," Dr. Wang said with a
laugh. Her smile seemed to widen
as she begun talking about her past and present students.
She said that Chinese stu- dents know why they are at- tending school and have a goal in mind, whereas even the brightest American students can sometimes be a bit aimless in their goals.
"In China, students are very motivated and have a definite purpose," said Dr. Wang.
American and Chinese stu- dents also differ in how they are most effectively taught, she explained.
"American students need encouragement and praise, but Chinese students, if you crit- icize them they work harder," Dr. Wang said, admitting that she is still adapting to the cul- tural differences.
She also commented on the students she's currently teaching, and expressed grat- itude that they registered for her first instruction at High- line.
"Most students in my class are very smart. If they can
keep learning Chinese, they will achieve more," said Dr. Wang.
Another goal of Dr. Wang's is to help American students interested in attending school in China, and she says that taking her Chinese language class would help in that en- deavor.
"If they can learn Chinese here, they can easily pass a language test" to get into a good university in China, she said.
She emphasized that any students interested in learning the Chinese language, in learn- ing about Chinese culture, or in attending school in China, should consider taking her class.
"Although Chinese language is very difficult, it is very in- teresting," she said, explaining that it is one of the most diffi- cult languages to learn along- side English.
Dr. Wang will be teaching CHINESE 122 in Winter Quar- ter, 2019.
"Register for my class, and enjoy my class," Dr. Wang urged Highline students.