Daniel Johnson – Yunnan Normal University

An American teacher Daniel E. Johnson who has been living in China for 10 years speaks about the changes he has witnessed.

“I came in 2012. So which subject are you teaching right now? I’m teaching two subjects. I’m teaching English speaking and English writing. When I came to China, it felt very foreign to me. But, I was a guest in this country, still I am, and I was invited here to teach. And over time, it didn’t feel like I was in a foreign country anymore. Because so many teachers and even the students came and just loved on me. It felt like a family. When I first came to China, I didn’t use the phone much. I wasn’t sure how to use the phone much. But, now, because of the phone being so popular, it might be even cheaper than a computer. Everyone uses a phone for making power points and making speeches to do in class. And it’s just so much easier. It’s convenient. When I first came to China, their English level wasn’t very good, especially poor students from areas outside the city. 10 years before, how’s transportation compared with now? It grew dramatically. We wanted to go to Dali. We heard very beautiful place. And, it was close. People were saying just a few hours away. No problem. We took the train. But there was no high-speed rail to Dali at that time. So, we took a slow train, it took 8 or 9 hours to get to Dali. It took a whole day to get to Dali. They just finished building a railway that went further than Dali. Everyone wanted to try it. It took 2 hours or less to get to Dali with high-speed rail. So how big a difference.”

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