Susannah Staples

In February of 2008, Anqing Foreign Language School welcomed two new foreign teachers from America.  One of them, being I, Susannah Staples.  Today, I want to talk a little bit more about myself, so that students and teachers of Anqing Foreign Language School, as well as the students' parents and the people in Anqing can have the oppoturnity to learn about me.


Going to China has always been something I wanted to do since I was very young.  I was born and raised in Japan, until I was thirteen years old.  I grew up speaking English at home, and Japanese at school.  Therefore, I have been blessed to grow up being bilingual.  Growing up in Japan, I have always been a found of the Chinese language, since the Japanese language uses some of the Chinese language's writing system.


When I moved to America, I picked German as my foreign language class, since my high school offered, French, Spanish, German, Latin and Japanese as a foreign language class, and we could pick which one we wanted to learn out of the five.  I learned to enjoy the German language very much.  By taking German, I found out that it was pretty simple for me to learn another language, because I grew up bilingual. Although, by no means, am I fluent in German, but I am pretty comfortable with the language.


As I started thinking about where to attend for a University, my desire to learn Chinese has always remained in my heart.  Therefore I decided to attend a University further away from my homeI am currently enrolled in Brigham Young University in Idaho, which is more than 3000 kilometers away from my family in Pennsylvania. My major is Nursing, and I plan on minoring in Chinese as well as German. When I graduate, I would like to work in a big city hospital in America, (probably San Fransisco or New York City), so I can use my foreign language skills to help many people from around the world. 


Before I came to China, I only took 3 months (one semester) of Chinese class.  I absolutely enjoyed the language, and it was in my Chinese class that I was informed about how I could teach English in China. Therefore, I applied for a teaching job in China, because of my desire to learn the language and to see another part of the world and learn about the differences in our cultures.  So far, I have learned that Chinese people are usually really helpful, and very friendly.  I feel safer walking in China than walking in the United States, other than I feel like I am going to get ran over by vehicles sometimes!


It has been two weeks since I've arrived in China. I still have much to learn, and much to teach.  I find the students at Anqing Foreign Language School to be intelligent, because most students seem to understand me pretty well.  I am looking forward to know my students, build new friendships, and learn from them as I teach them English.  I hope that the students can be more confident with their English, as I help them this throughout semester.