Workshops in China

Summer teacher training workshops for the Shunde District, Guangdong Province, PRC.

Guanxi can describe a state of general understanding between two people: “he/she is aware of my wants/needs and will take them into account when deciding her/his course of future actions which concern or could concern me without any specific discussion or request”. Wikipedia

The story started in Wuhan during June’s and my teaching a summer workshop for Chinese university students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan. We enrolled through the Tucson-based, Teach for Friendship program. My wife, June, went with me to Wuhan also as a teacher. We worked together preparing our teaching materials and had planned to do the same prepearation for different groups of students. On getting there we learned that we were scheduled to see the same group of students, one of us in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Since it was too late to do new preparations we asked to be paired with different teachers. I was paired with Elizabeth Lau and June with her husband, Edmond.


Elizabeth Lau

Two years later (without any specific discussion or request) Elizabeth invited June and me to participate in a new two week teacher training project for the Shunde District, Guangdong Province, China.  2016 was my thirteenth year of participation.





Shunde, a county-level city has direct jurisdiction over four subdistricts and six towns. Each summer we are rotated to two different areas, four of us to each area.  Within that, two lead a primary teacher workshop, two, a middle school / high school level workshop.

Sam Ng

Sam Ng

The program was the brainchild of Elizabeth’s friend, Sam (Kok-Po) Ng. Here’s a bit about him taken from the San Francisco Immigration Rights Commission website.Commissioner Sam Ng’s ties to San Francisco’s remarkable Chinese community reflect an impressive dedication to developing relations with neighborhood locals. Formerly an engineer and currently a realtor, Ng’s contributions to the Chinese community demonstrate his commitment to civic participation. Having served as the chairman and president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Sam Yup Benevolent Association, Ng has proven to be a very active member in the San Francisco Chinese community. His relationship with this constituency means that he is a valued voice on the Immigrant Rights Commission, for he can provide crucial advice for reaching out to the large immigrant population in Chinatown.

Sam has strong ties to the Shunde District. He was born there, has business interests there, and very much wants contribute to the welfare of that area. He has donated, in his father’s name, the money for a new wing of a local high school. Sam was honored to be one of the very few Chinese-Americans officially invited by the Chinese Government to attend the Beijing Olympics.

Course Goals:

To improve the course participants’ …

•    Application of current educational theory to their own teaching situation,
•    Confidence in using English for presentations, professional/casual conversations,
•    English vocabulary relevant to best educational practices and daily life,
•    Appreciation and knowledge of American culture, customs and daily life.

Course Objectives:  By the end of this course, the participant will be able to …

•    Use current educational methods for curriculum planning, learning theory, teaching English, and class management.
•    Use the following teaching methods: demonstration, role play, drama, singing, discussion, playing games
•    Demonstrate improvement in oral English through correct usage of idiomatic expressions, correct pronunciation
of common problem sounds, expressing opinions and writing and
telling stories.
•    Use at least one new technique or concept that may improve his/her own students’ English reading ability.
•    Describe in broad terms the following aspects of American Culture: religion, transportation, food, social manners,
daily life, wealth, poverty, race, ethnicity, families and diversity,
educational system, government, holidays, humor and  music.
•    Use correctly 50 new vocabulary words in conversation.
•    Compare and contrast Chinese and American cultures.