Ukrainian Dreams of Becoming a Chinese Teacher
On the morning of May 28, together with her Chinese teacher, an international volunteer was tutoring some international children in Chinese online from her home.
Named Aini, this volunteer is a girl from Ukraine and now she is a freshman at Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, majoring in business Chinese. The students are a group of international children, most of them from Arab countries, who now live in Yiwu with their parents. Seven or eight years old, they study in private schools run by internationals but their schooling has been disrupted by the epidemic of COVID-19. With their Chinese teacher’s approval, Aini set out to offer online classes for these children. To ensure the quality of the classes, she invited her Chinese teacher in college to teach with her.
Aini said that when she was a child, she often heard her parents talk about China, which was a mysterious and ancient country in her mind then. As a book-lover, she read many books about China. Deeply attracted by China’s time-honored history and culture, the thought of visiting China took root in her mind. After her postgraduate study, she turned down a good job offer in Ukraine and came to China to pursue her “China Dream” instead.
In 2017, Aini entered Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College to learn Chinese as she wished. She gradually fell in love with Chinese, which opened the door to a new world for her. She is also interested in Chinese culture and especially obsessed with tea art. Due to her hard work and talents, her Chinese has improved rapidly. She also won the Zhejiang Government’s Scholarship for International Students for two consecutive years.
Aini is not only a hard-working student but also an active volunteer. She often participates in voluntary activities in communities in her spare time. In a voluntary activity, her Chinese teacher invited her to work as an assistant teacher to tutor international children in Chinese, during which she discovered her dream career.
In 2019, Chinese was included on Russia’s Unified State Examination (USE), which serves as a college entrance examination. In addition to English, German, French, and Spanish, Chinese has become the fifth elective language examination for USE. “It is estimated that by 2025, the number of people learning Chinese in Russia will exceed 100,000; by 2027, the number of students learning Chinese in primary and middle schools will triple.”
Aini said that the huge demand for Chinese teachers prompted her desire to become a Chinese teacher in primary or middle schools in Russia. She also mentioned that to become a qualified Chinese teacher, there is still a long way to go. Therefore, after graduating from Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, she will further pursue the degree of Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages.
“Chinese is gaining popularity internationally. I want to pass on my love for Chinese culture and language to more people and to sow the seeds of the Chinese in every corner of the world,” said Aini. (By Wang Zhijian, translated by Shen Yingying, edited by Mariam Ayad)