Chinese scholars and students visit campus
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Six graduate students and two visiting scholars from South-Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan, China are visiting the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for the spring 2014 semester.
The six graduate students include Ming (Michael) Kong, Shanji (Jenny) Song, Fang (Maggie) Xiao, Dandi (Katherine) Yang, Yangxiudazhen (Alice) and Wenbo (Becky) Zhao. They are finishing their Master of Science degree in education/English education at UW-Platteville.
During the spring semester, the graduate students will complete their seminar paper as well as have opportunities to immerse themselves in the English language and American culture. They will return to China in May after attending the commencement ceremonies.
The MSE/English education program, established in 2001, is offered through a partnership between UW-Platteville and South-Central University for Nationalities. Faculty members from UW-Platteville travel to Wuhan to provide the first year and a half of the two-year MSE/English education. Final semester students then have the option of continuing their education in China or spending the last semester of the program at UW-Platteville. To date, eight cohorts of students — a total of 253 students — have graduated from the MSE/English education program.
“Through the partnership of over a decade with SCUN, the MSE/English education program provides opportunities for our professors to gain valuable international cross-cultural teaching experience,” said Dr. Yuanyuan Hu, coordinator of the MSE/English education program. “It also provides opportunities for teachers of English from China to advance their theoretical knowledge and practical skills as well as culturally enrich our campus and community.”
Hu also noted that although this year’s number of students is small, four of them are from ethnic minority backgrounds, including Tibetan, Korean and Hui ethnic minorities.
“This is the first time I’ve had classes with American students,” said Song. “I felt a little bit nervous, but it has been very interesting.” Song said she is taking notes about the differences between the Chinese and American education systems. Each student is provided with two host families and two conversation partners with whom they practice speaking English and learn about American culture first-hand.
The visiting scholars include Lanfang Chen and Wei Liu, both lecturers of English in the College of Foreign Languages at SCUN.
Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Jilin University in China in 1999 and a master’s degree in English language and literature from Wuhan University in 2006. From 1999-2003, she served as an instructor of linguistics in the College of Foreign Languages at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.
Liu earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature in 2002 and a master’s degree in linguistics and applied linguistics in 2006, both from the School of Foreign Languages, Wuhan University of Technology. She is now a Ph.D. candidate in the School of History at Wuhan University, majoring in history of cultures.
“Having visiting scholars in the department of humanities is a wonderful way to continue to build connections and cultural exchanges between our universities,” said Dr. Terry Burns, chair of the department of humanities at UW-Platteville. “Along with working on their research, visiting scholars will participate in at least two classes offered by the humanities program and are welcome at all of our departmental events, from meetings to Fasching/Carnival to poetry readings, so our students as well as faculty members can benefit from their perspectives and we from theirs.”
University departments who are interested in hosting a visiting scholar may contact Dr. Kory Wein, associate dean of UW-Platteville’s College of Liberal Arts and Education, at (608) 342-1151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact: Dr. Yuanyuan Hu, associate professor of TESOL, department of humanities, (608) 342-1929, email@example.com
Written by: Jena Garrett, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, firstname.lastname@example.org