Deng Jiao has been teaching Chinese language courses at IES Abroad Beijing since 2009. She has a Master’s degree in World Literature and Comparative Literature. Thanks to her teaching, seminars, and tutoring, many IES Abroad students have passed China’s HSK Test (Test of Chinese Language Ability for Foreigners).
IES Abroad: What courses can IES Abroad students take with you in Beijing, China?
Deng Jiao: I teach courses focused on the Chinese language:
IES Abroad: What are the benefits of Chinese language competency?
DJ: The majority of the population only speaks Chinese, so with competency in the Chinese language, students can function successfully when they study in China. In addition to this, students can really enhance their career prospects with a solid grasp of Chinese, especially with regard to China's development.
IES Abroad: What makes Beijing the best city for students to learn and immerse themselves in the Chinese language?
DJ: Students will find that the Chinese spoken in Beijing is the most standard Chinese Mandarin. It is also home to some of the most open-minded people in China. Students can make Beijing their classroom, since they can talk with people, exchange ideas, touch the history, and get a sense of the political and social changes. Also, because of Beijing’s size, students will meet Chinese people of all levels.
IES Abroad: What advice do you have for students preparing to study abroad in China?
DJ: My advice to students preparing to study abroad in Beijing is to try to clear up what they have already learned about China's society and Chinese people. I think that the more open they are, the more they will truly learn about China, and learn Chinese.
IES Abroad: Your courses require students to have taken several semesters of the Chinese language, yet there are still differing language levels within the classroom. How do you go about both supporting and challenging the students?
DJ: I target the middle level students. However, when I prepare questions for class, I make sure there is a sequence of difficulty. I will ask the relatively easier questions to students who needs more support and encouragement, and feed the harder questions to students who need to be challenged somehow.
IES Abroad: What’s the most interesting question you’ve received from an IES Abroad student in your course? What was your response?
DJ: Many students will ask me if they can pass the HSK test if I they take my course. My response is always, “Yes, you will pass if you work hard in my course.”
IES Abroad: Your Chinese language courses, seminars, and individual tutoring have helped many IES Abroad students pass the HSK Test (Test of Chinese Language Ability for Foreigners)—including two who took it in Fall 2015. What tips do you have for students preparing to take the exam?
DJ: In general, I recommend that students do more practice tests, and make sure to control the time for each part.
More specifically, for the listening part of the HSK test, I tell study abroad students to look at the answers and get clues from the names, location, or time mentioned in the provided answers. For the reading portion of the test, I advise students to pay more attention to the beginning and end of the paragraphs. There are a lot of hints given in these sections. My tip for the writing part of the exam is to memorize some typical sets of sentence structures and key words—this is a great help!
IES Abroad: What is the most important takeaway about Beijing you hope students leave their study abroad experience with?
DJ: I believe if students can take away a greater understanding of China, and see China in a more objective way, it will be the greatest achievement of their experience. Equally important, if students have opened a door and made China a possible future place for their career development, they have taken away a great deal.
IES Abroad: What has been your favorite teaching memory?
DJ: I very much enjoy the sense of fulfillment when study abroad students have made significant progress and improvement in their Chinese language abilities.
IES Abroad: What’s your proudest career achievement?
DJ: Teaching and directing the showcase of the Theater performance course, and earning the respect and thankfulness of the students who passed the HSK Test.
Take your Chinese to the next level when you study abroad in Beijing with Deng Jiao!