The students in this class were the very first that I ever taught. I remember vividly showing up at 7:50 to the South language building and meeting these 8 people. I was nervous (who wouldn’t be) and incredibly unsure of myself. Their smiles and compassion made me feel right at home.
Most of the classes here at Henan University are full or 30 – 40 people, but this class is special. These students were spending two years in intensive English courses in order to prepare to take the IELTs (an English proficiency test). If they passed the IELTs with 6s overall then they would get to spend two years abroad at Cardiff in the UK.
Of these eight students, the three boys in the back and the two girls on the left decided they didn’t want to study abroad, so they stopped coming to class in March this year. The other three girls spent 6 hours a week with me throughout March, April, and May doing nothing but test preparation. Their perseverance paid off and last night they received their scores: They’re all headed to Cardiff this fall. In an otherwise dull year, these students really stand as a mark of pride and honor in my heart.