Monday, March 3, 2008

Still Kickin'

Apologies for being out of touch... a week has evaporated happily with the return of my beloved Katya, who has come back to Dalian to continue studying after back-to-back trips to Russia and Japan, and before a three-week tour of Europe she will embark upon with her mother in May.

Romance aside, I've been busy with other endeavors as well. Writing English texts for middle school students brings in good cash and the occasional opportunity to inculcate millions with my own liberal views on junk food, television, Africa, and the life-long pursuit of knowledge.

I've taken a second part-time job, as well, which I'll be starting tomorrow.
Aushi Chinese is an education company that provides two main services:

-One-on-one Mandarin tutoring for foreigners working here in Dalian. They nabbed corporate accounts to provide Chinese language training for the suits over at Intel and Accenture, which makes up about 70 percent of their clientele.

-A teacher training course that equips native Chinese speakers to become effective Mandarin teachers... they're trying to help develop the field of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

They've hired me 15 hours a weeks to do marketing for their tutoring business and consulting for their training course. In other words, I advertise their school to foreigners, and try to help them figure out what a good Chinese teacher should look like.

The way I convinced them I was qualified to consult about TCFL was: "I may not be an expert at Chinese, but I'm damn near an expert at studying Chinese, and I have a lot to say about teaching methods and materials."

It's true. Between having studied Chinese at four universities and with over a dozen teachers, as well as having done rigorous self-study and online/distance learning methods, and researching an article on the current state of Mandarin education, I feel I have some experience from which to talk about improving the quality of Chinese teachers in the field, and it's something I care enough about to want to work to make a change.

What I like about this company is that it's young, it's idealistic, and it's keepin' it real.
They see Mandarin education as a science and an industry with a great future and a lousy status quo, and they want to help renovate it. I think it will be cool to be a part of that process.

Anyway, I'm off to bed... I'll be better about writing more as the days pass, but in the meantime allow me to wish all of you love and health and a rapidly warming spring.

1 comment:

La Mama said...

Sounds like a good life!