New staff member, Gisela Zipp, joins the Chinese Studies

Ms Gisela Zipp, new staff member at Chinese Studies, Rhodes University
Ms Gisela Zipp, new staff member at Chinese Studies, Rhodes University

When asked about how her Chinese journey began, Ms Zipp laughed, while remembering that it was a friend that pushed her to take up Chinese 1. “My friend was interested in Chinese because of its similarities with Korean, but she did not want to do it on her own, so we did it together and I took it all the way until my third year.” Her passion for the Chinese language and culture really came out when she immersed herself in the country.

Ms Zipp will be teaching Chinese 1; she will also be taking the speaking and listening component of Chinese 3. Ms Zipp admits that online learning brings along its challenges, especially with the first years. “I want to try and keep the students interested in Chinese; in the department we find it difficult to retain students and I want to bring new energy to the department. I think first years are going to be eager to learn Chinese at the beginning, and in order to keep that excitement, we have to make it fun and constantly make sure that they are practising their Chinese”, Ms Zipp adds.

“I want to encourage my students to build good habits, do the Chinese quizzes online; I also want to encourage the students to be active members of the class so that they can effectively learn Chinese. There are still things I need to learn about the department but I am excited for what is ahead”, she said.  

When asked about her new colleague, Ms Zang Li said she was very excited about Ms Zipp. “Her passion about Chinese, her energy and experience in teaching and learning foreign languages, her good ideas and friendly attitude make her an ideal colleague for our department”, Ms Zang added.

In addition to Chinese, Ms Zipp speaks German and French, which are both offered as foreign languages at the School of Languages and Literatures.

For more information on Chinese Studies at Rhodes University please watch this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/TQ3kl-2s3Nc and see more information here: https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/confuciusinstitute/documents/20200203Chinese_Studies-Orientation_Week_Presentation.pdf.

Source:  By Sacrée Kabeya

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