For the next few months, get to know your SCFLTA board. Each month we will introduce board members! This month, we begin with Dr. Jason Bagley-Cooler, SCFLTA Executive Director and Xiaolin (Rebecca) Feng, the SCFLTA 2022 World Language Teacher of the Year.
Xiaolin (Rebecca) Feng
What level and language/s do/did you teach? I'm a high school Chinese Teacher. I teach all levels of Chinese from regular classes Level 1-5HN to Immersion classes Level 3-5; and AP Chinese.
What made you want to be a language teacher? When I was little, I was very good at singing, and was selected to a regional choir group. I sometimes performed as a solo in the group. My choir teacher told me there were usually direct and positive connections for people who sing well and speak beautifully a foreign language. I believed her and became a language teacher without much struggle.
What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Having been a language teacher for more than 20 years, the most rewarding part is to see students acquire cultural competence and global view through the language learning process, on top of beautiful pronunciation.
What advice would you give to a new teacher? My advice for a new teacher is first love your job and be ready for challenges, second, always learn from experienced teachers and your own experiences.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing world language teachers today? The biggest challenges we face today is the technology and globalization that impact the traditional ways of teaching and learning. Students rely on answers from translation apps. overlooking contexts and cultural nuances. Globalization tries to bring the world together but also creates barriers among countries and industries.
How did you get involved with SCFLTA? SCFLTA is the hub linking me with other WL professionals; Empowering and encouraging me when facing challenges.
What role do you play in the organization? As 2022 Teacher of the Year, I'm honored and thrilled serving as a board member in the organization.
What is one non-teaching related fact about you? I've also been in several other professions at the same time being a teacher, such as I once worked in media stations for years. I'm eager for the opportunity of making my contribution to advocate for SCFLTA.