Three teachers from China who will teach Mandarin language and Chinese culture classes in Maine schools during the 2011-12 school year met with Gov. Paul LePage on Aug. 22 as part of a daylong orientation to their new jobs.
The teachers — Ren Zifeng, Wang Hailong and Yang Xin — chatted with LePage about second-language acquisition, public schools in the United States and China, and about the task awaiting them as the school year begins.
The three instructors are coming to Maine with at least five years of experience each teaching college-level English at Chinese universities.
In the coming weeks, they’ll start work at three high schools and one middle school located throughout Maine.
Ren Zifeng will teach at Washington Academy in East Machias.
Wang Hailong will teach at Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield.
Yang Xin will split her time between Mt. Ararat Middle and High schools in Topsham.
The three teachers are here as part of the Chinese Guest Teacher Program sponsored jointly by the College Board and the Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International in Beijing. The Maine Department of Education works collaboratively with these sponsoring agencies.
The teachers expect to spend one to three years working in Maine schools.
Another teacher, Ana Fombella, will teach Spanish language classes at Katahdin Middle/High School in Stacyville and Southern Aroostook Community School in Dyer Brook. Fombella, a Spanish national, has more than 10 years of experience teaching English in Spanish high schools.
Fombella is in Maine as part of the Visiting Teachers from Spain Program, which is co-sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Maine Department of Education.
View images at Flickr.com.
Resources and more information
- Don Reutershan, World Languages Content Specialist
Maine Department of Education
- The College Board’s Chinese Guest Teacher Program
- World Languages at the Maine Department of Education
- Languages specialist: Changing world, changing job