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Shaoxing teacher wins national honor for poverty alleviation

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: March 2, 2021 L M S

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Wang Yi, an English teacher from Xiushui Primary School in Yuecheng district in Shaoxing, teaches at Minjian Primary School in Mabian Yi autonomous county. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]

Shaoxing teacher Wang Yi was recognized as a "national advanced individual for fighting poverty" at a conference held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Feb 25.

Wang was an English teacher at Xiushui Primary School in Yuecheng district in Shaoxing.

In early July 2018, Wang asked her husband Shen Jie to serve as voluntary teachers together in Mabian Yi autonomous county in Sichuan province following a notice released by the local government in Yuecheng district calling on local teachers to support education in Mabian.

In August 2018, Wang and her husband, along with their 8-year-old daughter, traveled more than 2,000 kilometers to Minjian Primary School in Mabian and became teachers there.

The couple soon found out that students there were so weak in English that they couldn't pronounce the 26 alphabet letters correctly.

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Wang Yi poses for a photo while holding a certificate to honor her efforts to fight poverty in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]

"We found that students at the school were afraid of speaking English. The only one speaking in the English classroom was the teacher," Wang recalled.

In order to arouse students' interest in learning English, Wang made the class more interactive.

"I encourage students to imitate their favorite super heroes and for other students to try to guess who they are imitating," Wang said.

By adopting new teaching methods, more students were willing to be engaged in the class by raising their hands to answer questions.

A term later, the average score of Wang's class on the county's final English examination was 23 marks higher than the county's average.

The couple was supposed to return to Shaoxing after a year, but they decided to stay for an extra year.

They didn't come back to Shaoxing until last summer. Even now, the couple still keeps a close watch on the students at the county school.

Wang often shares her courseware in a WeChat group with many teachers at Minjian Primary School in Mabian. She said that she hopes that the materials would be of help for students there.