School districts across the country will soon welcome Chinese teachers into their schools once classes begin. According to the Los Angeles Times, 176 teachers from China have been chosen to participate in a guest teacher program put together by the College Board and Hanban (the Chinese government’s Chinese Language Council) in order to help “expand Chinese instruction in the United States.” The program, which started back in 2007, aims to assign Chinese teachers to schools in the U.S. that lack a pool of teachers who can teach the language, culture, and history of China.
UCLA recently hosted workshops and sessions for the foreign teachers on classroom management and integrating technology into lesson plans, including fun contests and activities that served as teaching aids. The teachers also visited a high school in Los Angeles to observe a foreign language class.
Bao Zhu, a college professor in English from northern China, told the paper that he noticed a contrast in teaching styles between the two countries. For example, he said teachers in China tend to lecture more and interact less with their students than American teachers do.
Zhu also added that the experience to come teach in the U.S. is worth the yearlong separation from his wife, who will be teaching in Florida while he is teaching in Utah. Upon their return to China, Zhu says their professional standing will improve and that they will be “viewed as experts” due to their experience teaching in American schools.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.