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    International Teachers in Spring Semester of 2010
    Writer:International Office   From:International Office  Hits:7704  AddTime:2010-3-12 18:09:46

    Elaine Silver



    My name is Elaine Silver. Though British born, I have lived in Sydney, Australia, and Tel- Aviv, Israel. I have a Master’s Degree in English Literature and worked in advertising for almost two decades. Thirteen years ago I entered the rewarding field of EFL teaching. 

    Four years ago I fulfilled a life long dream to visit China.  For a few weeks I saw places I had never known existed, from tiny villages and ancient towns to modern cities of millions.  I was struck by the natural beauty of China’s national parks and mountainous regions.  Luckily we enjoyed uninterrupted sunshine and blue skies throughout the whole trip. Most fascinating for me, was the window, albeit a very limited window, through conversations and my own untrained eye, into the lives of the people of this vast land.  When I returned home I took a course in Mandarin. A chance comment by a friend, a suggestion that I travel to Beijing to learn Mandarin, prompted me to investigate teaching opportunities in China. For ten years I had taught EFL to Israeli business people, professionals and students. Now was the time to engage a different kind of student, a different culture.  This is my third year teaching English in China.  After two years getting to know and learn from my dear students at Jiangnan University in Wuxi, new opportunities to teach and to learn await me at Hubei University of Technology in this vast city of Wuhan.

    What advice can I give you, the Chinese student of English? I have found you to be curious, receptive and on the whole, motivated. Most of you have a very thorough formal English background in grammar and reading skills from high school.

    First of all, whatever your level, you need to get FLUENT. Take advantage of your EFL and Oral English classes to improve fluency. Speak English at any opportunity – with foreigners and with each other. Mastering basic conversation is an important stage in acquiring a language.  At this stage, practice simple questions and answers and do not be afraid to make mistakes. Each night before you go to sleep, review your oral class work by practicing with your roommates.

    Then, you need to enrich your VOCABULARY in order to express more complex ideas. One of the best ways is to read English. Don’t read to memorize or recite. Read to understand. That means, use a dictionary or ask someone the meanings of words. About five years ago, I was teaching an EFL class for business people.  One student’s vocabulary was outstanding and it enabled him to speak about many subjects. I asked him if he had lived abroad, maybe in England or Canada.  He said “No. I was fired from my job three months ago. So now I am unemployed and have a lot of spare time. For three months I have been reading English detective novels.” Read whatever you are interested in. Your EFL teacher can direct you to interesting reading on the internet.

    Any opportunity to LISTEN to English will help your comprehension and conversational skills. So, watch and LISTEN to English movies, English news and documentaries on TV (CCTV9) and listen to your foreign English teacher speak.

    Finally, I know PRONUNCIATION can be difficult. I have experienced similar problems when trying to speak Chinese and people look at me in bewilderment.  Imitate your teacher’s pronunciation. Next time you take part in a speech competition, remember, it is the speaker with the best pronunciation who often wins, because he or she is best understood by the judges.

    Improve your CONFIDENCE all round by participating in class and try not to be ashamed of making mistakes. Every single one of your fellow students will make errors in class. I believe in fluency before accuracy at the very early stages of acquiring spoken language. I always tell my students that if you put up your hand and offer an answer in every class, even if every answer you offer is wrong, you will receive full marks for participation.

     Learning a language is like learning to swim. You don’t wait till you are a perfect technical swimmer before entering the water. Get into the water and splash around. Your strokes won’t be very elegant at first but you won’t sink. After all, your teacher is there to help you.



    Grant Rymer

    Hi, my name is Grant Rymer and I was born in Croydon which is just south of London, England. I am the eldest of 4 children and have 2 brothers and a sister. I enjoy sport and keeping fit, and play tennis, badminton and, on occasion, visit the gym. My hobbies include reading, playing poker, skiing, collecting American comic books and I'm a movie buff ( which is probably why the university added two movie appreciation classes to my schedule ). I also love to travel and have visited many countries, including Turkey, France, Italy, Austria, South Africa, Thailand, USA, Canada, Greece, Mexico and my most exciting adventure was an overland trip from England to Kenya which took in eleven different African countries.

    Last year, I decided on a complete career change and embarked upon a TEFL course. This is my first teaching position and I am looking forward to all the great experiences I'm sure it will bring. It is also my first visit to China and I am planning on spending the weekends exploring the country.

    My main goal this term ( that's semester to some of you ) is to build a good rapport with my students and for them to have fun whilst improving their English.


    Jackie Schofield


    My name is Jackie Schofield, I was born in Swaziland but grew up in South Africa. This is my first teaching job and I'm looking forward to all the challenges it will bring.

    I've always had a passion for travelling and experiencing different cultures so the opportunity to spend some time in China appealed to me greatly. Since I left my home town in 2001 I've lived and worked in both England and Ireland, I believe you can learn more about people when you live and work among them.

    One of my goals is to get all the students to participate in the lessons as much as possible. I will encourage the students to believe & have the confidence in themselves, in order to learn how to communicate successfully。



     Karen Tripp


    It is wonderful to be back at HUT. I was here for the second semester last year. My name is Karen Tripp and I teach for the Lambton College Canadian link.

    First, I should tell you how much I enjoy coming back to teach. Many of my classes are former students. As a teacher, it is rewarding to see the growth. Eight months makes a big difference, not only in English ability, but also,everyone seems so mature. I have one new class and it is good to start with from the beginning. Of course, I must mention all the staff and students. People here are very helpful and so friendly. Thanks for y warm welcome.

    For those who do not know me, I'll provide a little background. I am Canadian and come from Ontario. I have been an English teacher in Canada for forty years. I know that's a long time, but teaching is always fresh and rewarding. This is my seventh time teaching for the spring semester.

    I have taught in Wuxi, Jiangsu; Changchun, Jilin: and Nanchang, Jiangxi. So many parts of China and so many wonderful people.

    One of my hobbies is trave, l and I have seen most porvinces in China. From the north, south, east, and west, come so many travel memories.

    My best advice for studying English is to see yourself as a traveller. Language can open doors. Become an active learner who takes risks in English. What new horizons will open to you. Talk to me and other foreigners. Talk to your classmates as tough you are on a voyage. Speak.... and listen. Become your own guide. Enjoy the journey.

    Karen Tripp

    Phone : 001 519 688 1266,3 Thistle Court, Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, N4G 2S8




    Hello! My name is Nadine Grant and I am from Toronto, Canada.  I am a very outgoing person that loves to learn as much as I love to teach.  I have an HBA in English Literature and Classical Greek and Roman Studies from Trent University in Ontario, Canada and a Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia. 

    I have many different interests and hobbies, which range from snowboarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing, and hiking to reading books and playing cards and other games.  I absolutely love all animals and believe it is our responsibility to take care of the environment around us.  I also enjoy travelling and meeting people from different cultures and places, which has brought me here to China.

    This is my first time in China and am thoroughly enjoying this new and very different cultural experience.  I am enjoying the delicious food very much and interacting with new and interesting people.  I have found the people here to be extremely kind individuals that go out of their way to help me and make this a wonderful experience for me.

    I believe that teaching English can be a fun and exciting experience.  A good tip for learning English is to pursue topics of interest when doing reports and presentations.  If you are interested in the topic you choose, you will find learning fun. It is also always important to share your knowledge and your areas of difficulty with other students trying to learn English.  You can be a great help to one another!  Finally, it is always crucial to practice.  Practice some reading in your personal time and practice speaking with others whenever you get the chance and whenever you do not understand something- just ask!


    Paul and Brenda Barker


    Our names are Paul and Brenda Barker. We come from Canada where we live on a small, fifty acre, Ontario farm. Our family is comprised of our wonderful three adult children and one grandchild.

     Teaching has been our vocation and passion for over thirty years. During the course of those years we have taught many different subjects at primary, junior and secondary grade levels. Three of these years were spent teaching English and other subjects in Papua New Guinea.

    During the summer we enjoy outdoor activities such as canoeing, camping and swimming. While during the winter months we like to snowshoe and curl. Traveling is another one of our hobbies and we have been fortunate enough to visit many parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Australia.

    To teach and travel in China has been our goal for several years. We are very excited and pleased to be teaching English at HBUT in Wuhan. We are looking forward to exploring some of the many sites in and around this beautiful city on the Yangtze River.

    Some advice that we would give to students would be to practice the English that they already know as often as possible. While in English class always speak and help fellow students in English. Ask questions of your teachers and be ready to participate orally in every class. Attendance and homework is also very important.




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