I've been in Zhengzhou two months already and I can honestly say that so far it has been the richest and most rewarding experience of my life. Everybody inside and outside the school is very kind and helpful. Moreover speaking Chinese is giving me the opportunity of meeting a lot of Chinese people wherever I go. As a matter of fact, everybody seems to be very curious and interested in foreign people, maybe because it is quite difficult to run into foreigners in this city. The city is not touristic at all, and I believe it is part of its appeal. It is very big and extremely crowded but it is a truly Chinese city. In particular, the neighbourhood where the school is abounds with people with their little stalls and carts selling food and the traditional “xiaochi”. Especially at night is it very picturesque. Moreover the people living in the neighbourhood are getting used to seeing me around and always greet me or stop to ask me about my mother country. As far as the classes are concerned, I must admit that teaching 68 students is quite a challenge. I teach grade 7, which is the first year of middle school, so the level of English isn't very high and sometimes it is difficult to explain the exercises in English, without translating in Chinese. However, the students are very smart and learn very quickly. Many of them are very shy and do not dare speaking in class but I always try to organise some sort of game or competition in order to involve everybody. Especially when some kind of prize is at stake the vast majority of the class will strive to win it. In these weeks I have noticed that the students are more willing to take part in the lesson and answers to the questions are increasing. What I am trying to convey is that studying a language can be fun and that there are other ways of learning, and I think many students are really improving. For me the most important thing is that they enjoy the class and start appreciating English and I believe that many of them really do, since they are already asking me when I will come back to China.

Apart from the regular lesson I also teach the so called “English Salon”. The students who participate are really smart and the reduced number allows me to getting to know them better. The activities are varied, from listening to songs to tongue twisters and cartoons. At the moment we are watching “Beauty and the Beast”. The next weeks, however, will be devoted to the organisation of the Christmas Party, when the students will have to sing and act in English for the teachers and for their parents. I hope I will be able to recreate a genuine Christmas atmosphere and make them experience a part of my culture. After all, that's why I am here.