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Mr. Thomas Hughes

作者:管理员 | 时间:2016-9-18 | 点击:235

Born in Hollywood and raised along the coast of Southern California, I have always had a fondness for seaside towns like Zhuhai. So it’s quite natural that, when thinking about teaching destinations in China, Zhuhai and BNUZ have been on my radar for a number of years.  Having visited several of the major cities in China previously, I have always thought that Zhuhai would be a very livable and interesting place to live and work. The fact that my very first Chinese teacher was an exchange teacher from Beijing Normal University also gave BNUZ a certain attraction. So here I am ready to begin the next chapter of my Asian journey.

 

In fact, my journey in Asia has been quite a long and interesting one. 2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of my first trip to Asia (when I was a wee lad). And during those 30 years there have been only one or two years in which I did not do any work or study related to Asia (other than eating lots of Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese food, as I normally do). Japan and Japanese language study was my first introduction to Asia, as I enjoyed 2 exchange study-tours to Japan during my university years. When I finished up my undergraduate work with majors in English Creative Writing and Modern Languages (Japanese), I then decided to embark on a teaching career in Japan.

 

After teaching at a college in Japan I embarked for Taiwan to teach and work on brushing up my skills in Mandarin. Knowing that I would need a teacher to push me in my studies, after my first year in Taoyuan, I went to study full-time at a university in Taipei while teaching English in the evenings at several multinational companies. It was while working in Taiwan that I also got the taste of international trade and the entrepreneurial spirit in Asia while doing an internship at Taipei’s World Trade Center.

 

This interest in international trade prompted me to return to the U.S. where I did research, writing and trade promotion work for several Japanese trade and development organizations, such as the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an affiliate of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. At JETRO, along with advising companies on doing business in Japan, I followed the U.S. Aerospace, Entertainment and Agriculture industries, and wrote research reports and articles on these industries for several JETRO publications. I also started my own import trading company, importing food products from Malaysia, Thailand and China. In addition, I later tried my hand in financial services working for American Express Financial Advisors and started my own independent financial services practice with Guardian Insurance.

 

However, all the years of “all work and no play” that are common working in the private sector in America had me thinking back to all the fun, travel and learning that I was able to enjoy as a teacher in Asia. Thus, I decided to return to teaching and get my M.A. degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

 

Upon finishing my M.A. degree I went on to teach undergraduate courses in Business, Communications, and English as well as teacher training TESOL certificate courses at a university in northern Thailand. This was very enjoyable work as I got to work and teach with students and colleagues from over 20 different countries, including China.

 

After 6 years of hearing Chinese everyday in the halls and classrooms of my Thai university, I finally felt the call to give China a try again. Since Guilin has always been an area I had hoped to explore, I found a job nearby at Guangxi University’s Sino-Canadian International College and later became the Chief Coordinator of the college’s 32 foreign teachers.

 

This experience in university administration led to further opportunities in educational management, as in the subsequent years I went on to head English and foreign language departments at international schools in Myanmar, Thailand, as well as in nearby Shenzhen. This was very challenging and rewarding work, but after having managed teachers from about a dozen different countries and cultures in the past several years, I was interested in getting back to doing more writing.

 

This past year I was given the opportunity to join a university EFL textbook project with some former colleagues from my college at Guangxi University. The result of this work is the book, Beyond Movies: Hollywood English and Global Film Culture, which will be coming out in 2017 from Tsinghua University Press.

 

The fun and challenge that I gained from working on this book has prompted me to continue on with other writing projects that have been gathering dust during my years of administration work. Thus, I’m very thankful and hopeful to be back on a university campus surrounded by so many astute colleagues and eager students at BNUZ. And I’m looking forward to a productive year of teaching, writing and enjoying the friendship and fellowship in the BNUZ community.

 

 



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