Marien Sarur is an English teacher from the Suzhou Early Childhood Education College. [Photo/subaonet.com]
Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu province has been opening up its education sector by introducing international resources.
The city is currently home to six international schools, as well as seven institutes and 26 programs that are run by Chinese and foreign education groups together. More than 2,000 foreign teachers from 87 different countries are now working in Suzhou.
An award ceremony for foreign educators in the city was recently held to recognize their contributions. Marien Sarur from the Suzhou Early Childhood Education College received the "Outstanding Foreign Teacher" honor at the event.
Sarur left Mexico for Suzhou to become a spoken English teacher in 2009. Asked why she travelled such a long distance and has worked in the profession for 14 years, Sarur said: "I met a very supportive school and many lovely students."
Sarur has designed new courses to help students use English instead of only learning the language in class. At her classes, students are encouraged to keep a journal in English, make pen pals with Polish students, perform short plays, and interview foreigners on streets.
"I always tell my students to learn as much as they can so they won't mislead their students when they become teachers," said Sarur.
The foreign teacher management team at Suzhou North America High School. [Photo/subaonet.com]
Suzhou North America High School won the "Outstanding Foreign Teacher Management Team" award at the ceremony. Established in 2015, the team has managed more than 100 foreign teachers to date.
Wang Yawen, the team leader, said it is important to connect foreign teachers with the school and students. According to Wang, the school has set up a foreign teachers' committee to study matters related to education and actively involved foreign teachers in Chinese cultural activities.