May 1st , 2018

May 1, 2018. TSU students enrolled in Chinese courses were interviewed by volunteer Chinese teachers from Texas Southern University Confucius Institute. The purpose of this interview is for TSUCI to get some feedback information including course comments, program comments and initiatives to learn Chinese from students.

Questions of the interview mainly involve two aspects, students’ purposes of learning Chinese and How did TSUCI help them in this process. Student Majeedah, Tremaine Dixon, Micheal, Craig Mitchell, Vanessa and James Rocheelle received the interview. For These students, time of studying Chinese ranges from 3 months to 5 years. When asked, “Why did you learn Chinese at the first place?” Some students gave the credit to Chinese culture and job opportunities, and some thanked TSUCI’s help. Majeedah said “I chose to learn Chinese cause I want to immerse myself in a different culture and I don’t want to just stay in a hotel. Going out to experience Chinese culture will be cool. Learning Chinese can definitely help me to do that. Talking with people using their own language is cool. Brian came to us last semester, I knew that I had a chance to learn Chinese and even go to China through Confucius Institute. ” For Vanessa, she started to learn Chinese in high school, then she decided to continue her Chinese studying in university. When she met Mrs. Fa, the TSUCI Chinese teacher, she steadied her mind of learning this language. “If Mrs. Fa can teach Chinese in the future, I would continue learning Chinese in the following semester.” She said. For Craig Mitchell, he is fascinated Chinese Kong Fu. Thus he chose TSUCI to learn Chinese. “I would like to meet with Chinese people, communicate with different kinds of people and to go to China to work if there are possibilities.”

About the question “what changes have learning Chinese already brought to your life? ” Students have their own answers. “I ‘ve treated differently by Chinese people. I understand what they are saying now.” said Micheal, who has been learning Chinese for 5 years. For Vanessa, She and her mom worked in a Chinese lady’s house and help her to clean the house. Through learning Chinese, she could have more conversations with the lady. The lady also helps her to correct her pronunciation. “By learning Chinese, I could communicate with classmates in Chinese, which gives me more confidence. ” said Mitchell. For Rocheelle, she speaks Chinese to her family. And she claimed that learning Chinese changed her daily life.

Another focus of the interview is How TSUCI helped students with their Chinese studying. For the question “In what ways did TSUCI help you with learning Chinese? ” students gave the credit to TSUCI teachers. “It helps me to learn Chinese more enhanced and dedicated because there are people who are willing to help me by the time I need. The teachers, they do their job very well, such as they will share ideas that goes on within China, and I can share my ideas what goes on within America. If we bring our ideas together, we create something new.” said Tremaine Dixon. “They provide many volunteer Chinese teachers who are very helpful.” Micheal laughed and said so. As for Mitchell, He thinks that TSUCI gives TSU students an opportunity to go to China, which helps them a lot. Rocheelle is able to speak Chinese with volunteer Chinese teachers. She mentioned Mrs Fa, “Fa Laoshi is a responsible teacher. She makes sure that everyone will get the material before they move on.”When it comes to the question “Among TSUCI programs, which one do you think is the most attractive to you?” Micheal said “ The minor programs attract me most because it’s easier for me to sign in this program because I’ve learnt Chinese for years.” Vanessa’s answer is Summer trip. At the very beginning, she felt a bit sacred about studying abroad, let alone working in China for almost a year. But now she feels fine with studying abroad cause she is supported by her friends and teachers. About the question “What did you learn in TSUCI's Chinese classes that impressed you most?” Students showed some excitement. “A lot of customs, knowing the actual Chinese New Year customs, knowing that fortune cookie is more of an US thing. And the family structure, woman get to keep their family names when they get married.” Majeedah said. Vanessa learnt language knowledge from learning words to building sentences and making dialogues. In Fa Laoshi’ s class, she was taught how to communicate.

When talked about TSUCI teachers, students can’t express their gratitude enough for Mrs. Fa and Mrs. Hu. “Fa laoshi helps us a lot. She is energetic, nice and always makes sure us to fully understand the courses. And we also learnt things that are not from the textbook. Oh, and she brought us Jiaozi (dumplings).” said Majeedah. “Fa Laoshi loves her students and there is no other teacher who can possibly love their students as much as she does. She goes out of her way to make sure her students to see the lesson plans. She is always open during her office hours.” said Micheal. Vanessa also talked about volunteer Chinese teachers. “It is an interesting fact that TSUCI volunteer teachers establish a Chinese language speaking environment unconsciously”, she said. Once some volunteer teachers talk to each other, she catch a little bit. She thinks the first word that she caught was “Xiaojie(Miss)”. She was amazed what she was hearing.