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One of My Writing Assignment: How My Life Has Changed Since I Came to ESL Class at OTC

As a lucky student, I have met one of the best American English teachers at Ozarks of Technical Community of College -- Mrs. Gran Giglio(Shi is on the photo on the right). She has not only taught me so much knowledge on English itself but also she has led me entering a new world of American history and current cultural world. The most important I have learned from her is an excellent educator¡¯s extremely responsible work style and a high level professional accomplishment, and I can always get some inspirations in her lesson¡­   

So, now, I would like to share an article I just wrote recently with you and hope to bring you a big smile.

How My Life Has Changed Since I Came to ESL Class at OTC
By Shirley Yiping Zhang

I started to learn English during my college days since I studied Russian during my secondary school time. Since English was an optional course, it lasted for only 4 semesters started from the ABC. So, I have taught myself and attended some trainings and participated in an online English college after I graduated from the university. I was able to read, write and talk with foreigners, however, the loopholes in my knowledge structure has limited my progress, so that I did not pass an annual National English Examination twice in Beijing and could not be upgraded as a Candidate for Master Degree of Arts at Chinese National Academy of Arts in May, 2014 and 2015.

By chance, I heard that the ESL class at OTC in Sept, 2015 during an art exhibition at a library that I held in Springfield, I took the entrance examination on Sept 18 and became an ESL student of the high- intermediate class at OTC.

My travel became quite tight suddenly for I had to teach two classes of Chinese painting and Chinese poetry with my own music at 3 K-12 schools. However, every noon, I ¡°rushed into¡± Mrs. Viki¡¯s English lesson for 50 minutes or 1 hour with an empty stomach by taxi during the short intermission between my third and fourth lessons. Then I rushed back to my classroom by another taxi. I was surprised that after the first examination Nov, I was upgraded to the advanced class with Mrs. Fran Giglio, which I attended until Feb 19, 2016 when I left for China.

Then from Feb 9, 2017, I re-started to attend the English lesson with Mrs. Fran Giglio until now.

You cannot imagine how although the ESL class at OTC for a short time has changed my life so much.

First of all, it has improved my English level. It has helped me pass the National English Examination in Beijing in May 2016 and become a candidate for Master of Fine Arts at Chinese National Academy of Arts, which is the highest art research organization of China since Sept, 2016. It has also helped me complete the second volume of my latest publication series Together With Me, Learn Chinese Culture and Language by Enjoying Painting, Music and Poetry which will be published in English by a University Press in April 2017.

Secondly, it has opened my mind through teaching the American English language through by sharing American history and culture naturally. During the course of Mrs. Fran Giglie, I had an idea to create an American Culture Map Series in Nov, 2015, and I had another idea to write a book relating American culture in her lesson in 2017. The first idea and the first map, American State Bird Series of my American Culture Map Series was designed in Beijing in 2016 but I am creating it in the USA. I am planning to complete it within 1 year and publishing it with a map series and an art book series.

Thirdly, it has showed foreign students the most advanced education and social systems in the world. As a foreigner, I have seen how OTC looks after its students before a possible tornado or an ice storm, how Americans insist that a president has to follow the country¡¯s constitution, how Mrs. Fran Giglio wrote to me when I missed her lessons in 2015 and how every instructor smiles to the students no matter where we meet¡­

The ESL class at OTC has really warmed my heart, helped me improve and will make a beautiful memory in my heart forever. I would really like to remember the most advanced part which I have seen and felt in the ESL class at OTC and carry it back to China and the other places I am going to, to help Chinese and as many as people in the world.