Michela Polselli
Last updated:2015-05-06
Nationality:Italian Position:English Teacher

Education background:

Cert TESOL, Trinity College, Teaching English to Speaker of Other Language;

St.George International(London, UK), Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship, Modern Indonesian dance, traditional Javaness music(gamelan), traditional madurese music (ul-daul), batik(textile drawing and coloring), Indonesian language.

“Coming to China is an adventure, of course. And, despite all my previous travels and experiences, even in Asia, I have to say that Chengdu surprised me every day. I wasn't sure what I should expect from this program, I just knew I was going to teach to primary school children. Without knowing one word of Mandarin. I remember one of my friends asking me, before leaving, how it was possible that I would teach English without having any knowledge of the native language of my students. Well, dear friend, it is possible!

Now I can proudly say that my students learned many things with me: that it's better to try instead of not speaking at all, that they already know many words, but sometimes need a little help to remember, that they can play and learn at the same time without thinking that it's wasted time. They learned that it's not necessary to understand every word in a conversation, but that communication goes through a number of factors, including body language and intonation (which is tricky because here there's a whole different set of intonations and gestures). And this is what I learned during my stay in Chengdu, too. Sometimes communicating with local people feels just impossible - even though I've been trying to learn as much 'survival-Chinese' as possible. Other times it feels like language is a relative problem and enjoying each others company while eating, drinking tea or having a walk is worth more than words.

Chengdu is a place that can be amazing and tough, cold and hot, full of parks but very polluted, old and incredibly new, all at the same time. You can either mind your own business or go out and meet people, and try to experience all this. It just takes a little courage to get out of the comfort zone, but once you're in, there's a lot to see.

Related articles