Mandarin teacher bringing Chinese culture to Tarawera High School

[Source] [Time]    2017-05-18 18:45:30 

Tarawera High School students are learning Mandarin and making dumplings with their new teacher.

Miss Ou working with Year 8 students at Tarawera High School

Tarawera High School is playing host to Ya Ting Ou, a teacher from the Confucius Institute.

This is the second year Kawerau students have had a Mandarin teacher.

Last year Tarawera High students won first place out of 17 schools in a Mandarin language contest, despite only six months of learning.

Miss Ou has been at Tarawera High since February and said her favourite aspect of working with the students was the students themselves.

Miss Ou makes Chinese lanterns with a group of Year 8 students. Photo/Supplied

Miss Ou makes Chinese lanterns with a group of Year 8 students

"Students here are more active. If they love you then they come and hug you," she said.

"I think that's part of their Maori culture; they are open and welcoming."

Speaking English has been a challenge for Miss Ou as this is the first time she has left China and first experience in full immersion English.

"It's my first time teaching and I'm teaching in a different language," she said.

"It a little hard as I learnt American English and now I'm talking in New Zealand English. My listening skills have improved; New Zealanders speak very fast."

Miss Ou has a passion for food and hopes to share this passion with her students and new friends at Tarawera High School.

New teacher Miss Ou shares her passion for cooking with the Tarawera High School students

"I love spicy food, especially hot pot," she said.

"Here I love fish and chips."

Already having made dumplings, rice dishes and Coke chicken wings for her host family, Miss Ou is now teaching the students how to make dumplings in their hospitality class and has brought a traditional tea set to share with her students.

Head of Hospitality Stephanie van Niekerk said having Miss Ou involved in teaching how to make Chinese dumplings had helped with the authenticity of the students' cooking.

"The students were able to build on what they've learnt already with different types of pastries to then make this authentic international cuisine," she said.


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