Welcome to my site!
I’m Connie, whose Chinese name （康妮） means “healthy girl.” I hold a BA in English from Eastern Illinois University, and an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Southern Illinois University. A majority of my teaching experience has been in the Asian region – Japan, Taiwan and currently Mainland China where I work as a college English language teacher for The Amity Foundation.
The Amity Foundation is a Chinese organization started by the initiative of Chinese Christians in 1985. It works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Programs include rural development, health care, special education, relief and rehabilitation, church-initiated projects, blindness prevention and education.
My work is in Amity’s education division as a college English language teacher in the developing areas of the country. Teachers with Amity are placed at Chinese teachers’ colleges to improve the language and teaching methodology of students soon to enter the English teaching field. China now requires English language study for all secondary education students (grades 7 – 12), and also 1 or 2 years study for all majors in college or university. In other words, there is a great need for well-qualified English teachers at all educational levels.
In August, 2013, I spent 1 year studying Chinese at Sichuan University in Chengdu. I would have been teaching at Luzhou Vocational and Technical College in Luzhou except for one problem: new laws for Sichuan Province. Sichuan has now stated that any foreigner who has been in any part of the country on a work visa for 5 consecutive years must take a 1-year break before being given another 5 years to work. I therefore was on a student visa as a language student in Chengdu for almost the entire year.
In August, 2014, I once again took up my place as a teacher in China. My position is currently at Luzhou Vocational and Technical College, a 3-year college located in the city Luzhou (loo-joe) along the Yangtze River. I teach 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students who are English Education majors. The 230 students I instruct will be entering the teaching profession after finishing their 3-year study. Many will return to their countryside areas to teach English in their hometown school districts, mostly in elementary and junior high school levels.
As a member of the Christian faith (I’m a United Methodist), I attend the Chinese Protestant church in my area. Despite what many believe, the Chinese Christian church is open to all and services are held regularly without any interference from the government.
Thanks for visiting my site! While I’m by no means a China expert, I do hope my stories and experiences will bring you a little understanding and enlightenment about this country.