I offered my skills to Hampshire Libraries to be their casual tutor.
Today I received an email of rejection.
The course I wanted to run is Mandarin Chinese. I can teach Mandarin Chinese at all levels.
“No need for your services.”
In the email, the admin officer replied:
“… we regret to inform you there is no need for your services at this time. However, we will keep your details on file.”
I am truly surprised.
Many people have asked me to teach Chinese privately but I turned them down. I prefer teaching a small group. I find group learning essential and stimulating, especially for absolute beginners. I thought keen language learners would appreciate a Mandarin Chinese course run by Hampshire Libraries, taught by a qualified teacher.
If I could run a Mandarin Chinese course in the library, it would be convenient for me and for learners. The course will also promote language and cultural awareness. I could teach and give you the tools to learn, and you could learn locally from me at an affordable price with a small group of learners.
My teaching will benefit the community.
There are advantages of learning a language locally. We can communicate face-to-face, and we can arrange for a social meet-up more easily. Though many people prefer learning virtually, there are many advantages to learn in a supportive environment locally.
We want to promote learning. We should be able to do it locally, right in our community.
What was the logic behind not wanting to run a Mandarin Chinese course in the libraries? There was no explanation in the short email.
What are the courses run by Hampshire Libraries?
Currently, there is a Spanish for Beginners 1 course in Chandler’s Ford Library. Three other courses are: Basic Computing for Beginners, Family History – Researching WW I Service Records and Anyone Can Draw – Beginner’s Drawing.
You can find all courses and workshops in Hampshire Information and Library Service. Across Hampshire libraries, the courses also include the teaching of French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
Hampshire Libraries do not offer any non-European language courses.
I’m sure from Winchester to Chandler’s Ford and Romsey, some people will welcome a Mandarin Chinese course, because a qualified and experienced Chinese teacher is rare in the south.
I am an Associate Lecturer for the Open University and I teach the L197 Beginners’ Chinese Module. I started when the module was introduced in 2009. I teach the South Region (Region 2), and my students come from Milton Keynes, Oxford, Reading, Portsmouth, and the Isle of Wight as this region covers a wide area. We meet in Reading College for our Face-to-Face tutorials.
I am more perplexed than disappointed that Hampshire Libraries would not appreciate a Mandarin Chinese course in this region, as there is “no need for your services”. My enthusiasm is not reciprocated. Perhaps there is indeed no need for the Chinese language in the market from Winchester, Chandler’s Ford to Romsey? Perhaps learning European languages would just be enough?
A few weeks after publishing this post, I had a friendly conversation with Hampshire Information and Library Service (Learning In Libraries) on Twitter:
@LearnatLibrary Thanks. I know a lot of local people are fascinated by the Chinese language and they want to learn.
— Janet Williams (@cfordtoday) March 4, 2014
@LearnatLibrary I teach Chinese for the OU and I’m happy to teach from Winchester to Chandler’s Ford. Just let me know. Thanks.
— Janet Williams (@cfordtoday) March 4, 2014
@cfordtoday Thank you Janet, we will keep you in mind when planning future courses
— Learningin Libraries (@LearnatLibrary) March 4, 2014
Learning from the Open University
For those who may want to learn Mandarin Chinese, you are welcome to sign up for the OU L197 module – Beginners’ Chinese (30 credits). The new term for L197 starts from October 2014.
The Open University offers many exciting courses. I hope you will find some courses that will suit you and challenge you.
Here are a few useful links to help you learn Mandarin Chinese:
- Beginners’ Chinese: Introducing yourself – OpenLearn – Open University
- Beginners’ Chinese (L197) Example Material – FELS Module Examples – The Open University
- Beginners’ Chinese – OpenLearn – Open University (Podcast)
- Beginners’ Chinese – Audio – Download free content from The Open University on iTunes
Do you still remember the Fifa World Cup 2010 (South Africa) theme song?
“Give me freedom, give me fire, give me reason, take me higher.”
These passionate words should reflect the spirit of our learning.
Update: 13th March 2014:
Since publishing this post, I received an email on 11th March from Wendy Eves, Area Learning Coordinator (West) for Learning in Libraries.
Wendy explained 2 main points regarding my post.
First, the funding for this academic year had been allocated as my application was late for this year.
Second, “However you will be pleased to know that we have run Mandarin at Gosport Discovery Centre although the last course was cancelled due to lack of interest. We have in the past also ran Japanese at Petersfield Library and this has not been requested since.”
Thank you Wendy for your communication and clarification. It has helped me understand the situation. I wish you all the best in your future planning.