According to the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary-2nd edition, a teacher is “someone whose job is to teacher in a school, college, etc.” Thinking in that line, therefore, my Chinese teacher is someone who teaches me Chinese. But for the purpose of this paper, I will try to delve into the general attributes of a teacher and then gradually move to the main theme of the composition: my Chinese teacher.

Teachers impart knowledge and help inculcate good moral and academic values in their students. Why the moral values? It is moral values that dictate what is considered right or wrong in any given society. Therefore teachers help students to know what is morally acceptable or unacceptable so that the students could adjust themselves accordingly. Furthermore teachers help to ensure that students learn and understand concepts been taught and to be able to decipher between good and bad academic masterpiece. In doing so, academic disputes are been resolved by teachers. In the execution of their duties, teachers serve multifunctional roles: tutors, mentors, researchers, counsellor, just to a name few.

My Chinese teacher is full of energy. Has time and is more than willing to explain the smallest bit of whatever remains unclear. My Chinese teachers helps me and of course my colleagues (the non-Chinese students) to quickly settle down in Taipei. Certainly without the availability of a Chinese teacher, life would have been a nightmare to get around in the traditional markets and in the restaurants at Shepai especially during my early days in Taiwan. Not only am I and my friends been taught about the Chinese (mandarin) language, but we are also taught about the |Taiwanese culture. These range from words or sentences that may be considered rude when used in certain context or situations to the significance and purpose of the Chinese festivals. This gives a meaning to what prevails around us.

Furthermore, we are been treated like we and our Chinese teacher are part of a single family. This is remarkable! We go together for outings organised by our department and the Chinese teacher will try all what is possible to make sure we know the significance of the sites visited. Not only are we taught in the formal lecture rooms, but we are given all forms of assistance. We are taught when and where to bargain for goods and where to get certain commodities that may not be easily available in our immediate surrounding. This helps us to sometimes feel at home.

At least, I have some ideas about the histories surrounding the Moon Light Festival in which the moon Cake is eaten, Dragon Boat Festival and the “zhongzi”, the Lantern Festival and the delicious “Tang Yuan” (the sticky rice ball), the Chinese New Year Festivities and the “Hong Bao” (the Red envelope), the tomb sweeping, etc .The double ten and its celebration…Undoubtedly, no one has the time and energy to explain the histories about the aforementioned festivities to me except my Chinese teacher. No festival makes sense unless people know why and what function it serves in a given culture or society. Because my Chinese teacher took some time to explain the significance of those festivities, I was able to appreciate and recognise them and even take part in the ones I could.

To recapitulate, my Chinese teacher not only teaches my Chinese, but also helps me to be able to effectively socialise with the main frame Taiwanese community and to understand the meaning of “life” in Taiwan. This will make my stay in Taiwan to be both educative and memorable because I will understand what goes around me.

Xie-xie wode Zhongwan laoshi…..