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Online courses cross the border and bring WHU teachers and students closer
Author:  Date:2020-05-28  Clicks:

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has challenged the traditional way of education. To cope with this condition, Wuhan University (WHU)’s online teaching is on schedule. Among others, there are 8 foreign teachers at the School of Foreign Languages and Literature teaching online courses from six time zones. They overcome difficulties like time difference and unstable network by adopting various modes of teaching. During the last two months, they have offered 29 courses in English, Japanese, Russian, German and French to around 600 students with nearly 100-hour class every week. While they are providing high-quality lectures that are popular among the students, they have lots of feelings to express as well.

Sylvia Schroeder

English teacher. Staying in Germany.

Courses: Intercultural Communication, Advanced Oral English and English Phonetics.

To my colleagues and all the students at the School of Foreign Languages and Literature: I would like to say that my biggest wish is for everyone to be able to return to campus safe and sound as soon as possible so that we can all be part of a living community again. As I only started teaching in the school in February, I have not had an opportunity to meet my students face to face, nor have I been able to spend much time with colleagues – I miss the sense of community that physical presence ensures. The university has been right at the center of the fight against COVID-19 within Wuhan and in China, there isn’t a single life that hasn’t been affected in one way or another, and everyone now deserves to return to some level of normality, even if the way we live life post-epidemic is bound to be different. It is my hope that the world will address the current situation and the next stages of the pandemic together to ensure the best possible outcome for all.

Ruka Enatsu

Japanese teacher. Staying in Japan.

Courses: Japanese Listening and Speaking, National Conditions of Japan and Japanese Writing.

With the joint efforts of Chinese government, medical care personnel and citizens all over the country, China has won the battle against the coronavirus, which brought the dawn of victory to the whole world. For that I would like to express my utmost respect. The virus is harmful to not only the physical health but also the mental one, causing widespread anxiety and depression. To prevent “psychological infection”, it is important to encourage each other more than ever. I have been caring for all the students and communicating with them as much as possible when teaching online. At the time when social distance is required, we shall form closer bond.

一致団結して未知のウィルスを退けたことで世界中の人々に希望を与えて下さった中国の政府関係者様ならびに医療関係者様、国民の皆様に最大の敬意を捧げます。ウィルスが恐ろしいのは、体だけでなく心にも感染して不安や憂鬱の伝播を引き起こすためです。「心の感染症」を防ぐためには今まで以上に声をかけ合い励まし合うことが大切です。オンライン授業では普段以上に学生の様子を注意深く観察し、心を通わせることに力を入れています。社会的距離が重要な今だからこそ、心の距離を縮めたいものです。今後ともよろしくお願い申し上げます。

Tatyana Borisovna Sokolovskaya

Russian teacher. Staying in Russia.

Courses: Russian Listening and Speaking, Russian Writing and Russian Speaking.

Online courses are unexpected for both teachers and students, which have been challenging. Being the first one to figure out the medical countermeasures for COVID-19, China also initiated online teaching as the epidemic made the traditional education impossible. That demonstrates China’s capability to solve problems quickly and effectively, which impressed me a lot.

I would like to say hello to my dear colleagues and students. I miss this job very much while staying at home. I can’t wait to go back to the classroom and teach face-to-face.

Дистанционное обучение стало неожиданностью и для студентов, и для преподавателей и вызвало множество вопросов. Так же как и с медицинской проблемой, Китай первый столкнулся со всеобщим переходом на дистанционное обучение, успешно с этим справляется и продемонстрировал всему миру свою способность решать проблемы быстро и эффективно. Это вызывает у меня глубокое уважение.

Я хочу передать привет своим дорогим коллегам и студентам. Сидя 4 месяца дома, я очень соскучилась по настоящей работе. И жду - не дождусь, когда смогу наконец войти в аудиторию и начать урок.

Dr. Gaios Tsutsunashvili

German teacher. Staying in Germany.

Courses: National Conditions of German-speaking Countries, German Speaking, German Writing, Business German, and German Writing and Speaking Skills.

At the beginning, I chose Zoom for teaching. With the improvement of network quality, now I mainly use DingTalk. I prepare abundant online practices and games for every class. By making the topics coherent and encouraging participation, it would be easier for students to fully absorb the knowledge.

Finally, I want to say that I miss the beautiful Wuhan city and Wuhan University, as well as our Department of German so much. I would like to send my cordial greetings to my admirable colleagues, dear friends, and intelligent and diligent students.

Die Unterrichte fanden ursprünglich auf ZOOM statt. Jetzt unterrichte ich auf Dingtalk, da die Qualität der Plattform mittlerweile deutlich besser geworden ist. Darüber hinaus nutze ich meine online Übungen und Lernspiele, welche ich selbst für jeden Unterricht extra erstelle. Einen starken Orientierungshalt kann man in der online-Lehre durch die thematische Kontinuität sowie durch das Animieren zu einer aktiven Unterrichtsteilnahme schaffen.

Abschließend muss ich sagen, dass ich die schöne Stadt Wuhan und ihre berühmte Universität sowie unsere deutsche Fakultät sehr vermisse. Ganz liebe Grüße an meine hoch geschätzten Kollegen und Freunde, die mir lieb und teuer sind, und an meine klugen und fleißigen Studenten.

Silke Litz

German teacher. Staying in German.

Courses: Comprehensive German and Basic German Writing.

Teaching online courses to two classes of students is a challenge for both me and my students, because my Internet connection is often interrupted, which makes it difficult for us to hear each other sometimes. Nevertheless, the industrious students can still follow me. Also, I have been trying to make the lessons livelier and more interesting.

I am very grateful to my colleagues in Department of German for their advice and support whenever and wherever, despite the difficult circumstances. Mr. Ma from the foreign affairs office also helped me a lot. He worked tirelessly to ensure that my new visa will be ready in August. Thanks to him, I can continue teaching my wonderful, passionate and hardworking students in Wuhan just in time at the beginning of the autumn semester in September.

Der Online-Unterricht mit zwei so großen Studentengruppen ist für mich und meine Studenten eine Herausforderung, denn meine Internetverbindung ist häufig unterbrochen, sodass wir uns manchmal gegenseitig nur schlecht hören. Trotzdem können mir meine wissbegierigen Studenten gut folgen können und ich versuche, den Unterricht lebendig und interessant zu gestalten.

Ich bedanke mich sehr herzlich bei den allerbesten Kollegen der Germanistikabteilung. Trotz der schwierigen Umstände sind sie jederzeit für mich ansprechbar und unterstützen mich, wo sie nur können. Eine ebenfalls immens große Hilfe ist der engagierte Herr Ma vom internationalen Büro für mich. Unermüdlich setzt sich Herr Ma dafür ein, dass mein neues Visum im August fertig wird, damit ich pünktlich zum Unterrichtsbeginn im September wieder in Wuhan meine wundervollen, motivierten und fleißigen Studenten weiterunterrichten kann.

Maureen Berthelot

French teacher. Staying in France.

Courses: French Listening and Speaking, French Speech and Debate, French Extensive Reading, National Conditions of France, and Selected Readings of French Literature.

Since mid-February, Wuhan University has arranged online courses efficiently, and all teachers have been committed to the continuity of courses with enthusiasm and creativity. As one of the foreign teachers in WHU, I have also devoted myself to online teaching with efforts and tried my best to improve teaching quality. During the pandemic, everyone may experience hardship, stress, or loneliness. However, we will overcome it with joint efforts. We will come out stronger. What touches me a lot is that both Wuhan University and Wuhan city are able to stay strong, cope with the exceptional circumstances with bravery and cohesion, and make preparations for normality.

Dès la date de reprise des cours, l’université de Wuhan a su mettre en place efficacement les cours à distance. Tous les lecteurs ont su s’engager pour assurer la continuité des cours avec enthousiasme et créativité. Dans cette période, chacun peut ressentir des difficultés ou de l’isolement. Mais nous sortirons de ces difficultés en restant unis. Nous en ressortirons plus forts. L’université de Wuhan tout comme la ville de Wuhan, ont su rester fortes dans cette période et s’organiser pour faire face aux circonstances exceptionnelles.

Nathan I. Hauk

English teacher. Staying in the USA.

Course: Advanced English for Non-English Majors.

To my students,

The joy of teaching and learning is to witness and experience growth, to struggle and to overcome. The highs and lows of this experience are amplified in the presence of others, in the anxiety of being the first to raise one’s hand or the rush of excitement of nailing a presentation and basking in your classmates’ approval. This is what makes the college classroom so exhilarating.

After an exciting fall semester together, we said, “See you soon!”

Little did we know that it would mean a video call, a WeChat message, a lecture posted on Xuexitong, a video presentation, and an assignment on U Campus. These new forms of communication changed the way we interact and made the special process of learning feel distant. Turning on your microphone to ask a question while sitting in an isolated room and clicking “send” to submit a presentation you have worked hard on only to wait for a few written reactions from classmates as they watch you on their own time doesn’t carry the same weight as their real-life counterparts. Let’s just say, this semester has been DIFFERENT.

Still there has been growth and I encourage you to reflect on all you have accomplished this semester. Of course, you have expanded your ability process and to communicate deep ideas. But on another level, in the face of a global pandemic you demonstrated that there is no obstacle too large to overcome. In the face of difficulty, loneliness, sadness your hard work has made this time apart meaningful. This is a lesson that no college classroom could provide: YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!

Carry this with you. When we return, remember what you are capable of and remember to treasure every moment. Thanks for your dedication. SEE YOU ALL SOON!

Jesse Michael Barkin

English teacher. Staying in Wuhan, China.

Course: Western Culture.

We all hope that we can get back to our regular normal lives as soon as possible. I believe that it will be sooner than later. School has begun and we are doing classes online. What I found out was that online courses present a real opportunity that doesn’t exist in the classroom. In the classroom, sometimes you ask a question of one particular student, and that student will answer it with the best he or she can. Sometimes it’s the very same students answering questions. What I found online in our chat room discussions on WeChat is that if I ask a question or if I bring up a topic, this gives the opportunity for everyone to participate really at the same time, because you are typing in your answers, your opinions, your thoughts all at the same time. You don’t have to wait for others. And then the answers come streaming in the discussion on the WeChat. And it’s really interesting.

However, still this is not an ideal situation. I’d like to be in the classroom. I’m sure you’d like to be in the classroom. We miss our friends, students; you guys miss your roommates. I miss Starbucks coffee; you guys miss milk tea and hotpot. But during this situation, I’ve been really pleased with how things are going. I think this is going to be a good opportunity for all of us. So let’s just make the best of a bad situation. I’m ready to get back on campus.

Rewritten by Qin Zehao

Edited by Zhou Siyan, Zou Xiaohan and Hu Sijia

Source: https://news.whu.edu.cn/info/1002/60074.htm

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