Lunch at our favourite Muslim restaurant
These days we are delighted to have two visitors from VSO - Li Hongyan, the Senior Education Programme Manager (left) and Wang Yanhui (second left), the Education Programme Support Officer. Hongyan and Yanhui arrived last night and got up at the crack of dawn to attend the teaching observations in No 4 Middle School, along with the TLT course participants. Tina gave the first model at 7:30, followed by Lesley at 8:30, after she'd dropped Edie at school. Hou Wanxia and Lesley led the observation feedback meeting afterwards and were pleased to hear some useful and poignant reflections. As the course draws to an end, we PIE trainers are making our own reflections on how it's going, whether it's a success and what challenges we face.

Hou Wan xia says: "It's the second time for us to have this TLT training and with the efforts we have made, it's much better. In particularl, Lesley rhas been re-writing the training materials and adding the Chinese translations for tasks and the general introduction for the course with the purposes and the goals and, in class, Lesley tries all kinds of methods to elicit the teachers' thoughts. This is very hard for our Chinese fellows to change their minds because changing means they will have to pay more attention to their job. They will deny what they have done in the past. It means they have to use a lot of time to prepare the lessons again and, of course, the big challenge for them is whether to change or not. Their biggest challenge is actually their attitudes to their jobs. Why should they change? Why should they work so hard with such poor pay? They think it's unfair on them. They are afraid of being pioneers, of trying something ahead of the others. It means taking a risk. What's more, most of the teachers have taught for many years. That means that every teacher has developed a set of habits in their job. It's not easy for them to change their ways immediately. They need time to think and to be pushed. Meanwhile, they need a kind of power from above, to tell them that they HAVE to do something. That is the way of our Chinese fellows."

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