Well my 4 week intensive Chinese program is over. (Sniff. Sniff). It was really intense, because I didn't have time to blog everyday like I had planned. But I really enjoyed it. I made so many friends. I loved all the trips and cultural activities. I loved it all. I loved both my teachers. Especially Ms. Fang. She is the bestest. She is one of the best teachers out there! I hope I get her next semester, but I hardly doubt it. What would be the chance that she teaches the night class and happens to teach my level? I don't know. When I found out Miss Fang was applying to teach Chinese in an American university I asked if I could write a letter of recommendation for her. I will miss her so much. I learned so much in her class. Here is the recommendation I wrote for her:
Vanessa M. Dewey
689 Wuzhong Road, Bldg 13, Apt 202
Shanghai, China, 201103
August 10th, 2010
To whom this may concern,
My name is Vanessa Dewey and I’m from Los Angeles, California. I am currently studying Chinese at Donghua University in Shanghai, China. I have had the pleasure of taking a Chinese course from Katherine Fang.
Katherine Fang is a remarkable teacher. As most people are aware, Mandarin Chinese is a difficult language for foreigners to learn. I have been learning Chinese through different methods and through several different teachers, but Ms. Fang is certainly the best. She has been able to effectively explain complicated grammar points that I have endlessly struggled with in the past. She gives us great examples that are applicable to our daily lives as well as allowing the class to practice their own sentences with the grammar patterns she teaches. Also, she prepares very useful visual aids that are really helpful in memory building and gives context to the language.
I can see the endless preparation she does for the class and I can’t help but be so grateful for all the time and energy she puts into our education. Being fluent in Chinese has been a dream of mine for quite some time now. There have been times when I have felt overwhelmed and wanted to take the easy route and just quit. After taking Ms. Fang’s class, I’ve realized that while Chinese is difficult, it is not impossible. I still remember one day when Ms. Fang was explaining a rather complicated grammar point and I was at the point of feeling almost helpless when all of a sudden she said, “If you can learn this major grammar point, you can be half Chinese.” As soon as she said this, my ears perked up. She had caught my interest and I did my very best to understand it, and within that day, I did. Ms. Fang has clever ways to motivate her students. I know she cares about us and has our best interests at heart.
I believe that it is in your best interest to consider employing Katherine Fang. I have learned first hand that not everyone has what it takes to be a good teacher. Just because you speak the language as a native doesn’t mean you have the ability to be a teacher, or just because you have studied a language for many years doesn’t make you qualified to teach it to others. It takes a lot more than that. It takes creativity, patience, wit, proper preparation, and experience—all of which Katherine Fang possesses. I couldn’t recommend a better teacher.
Vanessa. M. Dewey