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Marble Surface

My Story

If you are interested in reading about my story, here is a fragment of the story that led me to become a language teacher. 

My Story

I was born in Hong Kong, China, and immigrated to Canada at the age of three. I feel that this is an important piece of my life since it dictated my identity at an early age and who I am as a person and an educator. Growing up in Montreal, I always spoke Cantonese at home and I was forbidden to speak any other languages at home. This was because my grandparents did not speak a word of English and my parents always wanted me to keep and preserve my heritage. This allowed me to be fluent in Cantonese in oral and not in written and reading, even though every Saturday, I attended heritage language classes.  

 

English was a language I kinda knew because of the British influence in Hong Kong, and I knew a few words from listening to other adults around me, but I always considered French as a second language, since it was the language that I had formal training in learning. From Preschool all the way to grade 3, I was learning French and had an English tutor after school. Definitely, learning languages was a difficult task for me as a child since I was learning three different languages all at the same time. 

In grade 4, my parents decided to move to Ontario in order to be close to family. In fear that I would lose my French growing up in a predominantly anglophone society, my parents decided to enroll me in a French Immersion Public School in Thornhill. Woodland Public School was where I spent most of my memorable childhood experiences. Then it came to graduation and everyone had to start choosing high schools. Regardless of numerous protests to go to high school with my friends, my parents enrolled me in a catholic school in Markham, since they bought a house in Markham, St. Brother Andre CHS. Which happens to be the school I am currently teaching at. 

I spent one year at St. Brother Andre continuing my French studies in the Core French program while also taking heritage class on Saturday for Cantonese. Due to the overpopulation of the school, I had to switch to the new school St. Augustine CHS, which I was part of the first-year graduates. Luckily this time, I switched schools with my friends. I was able to continue taking French up to grade 11, but due to the low enrollment of the grade 12 French class, I was unable to continue my studies in grade 12. During this time, I took heritage classes for Mandarin and Japanese on Saturday, but I barely retained any of those languages. 

High school was a significant moment of my life because being a teacher was not what I planned to do. When I learned about respiratory therapy was introduced to me in grade 9, I always wanted to do that program. Unfortunately, I was not very good with the sciences. Fearing not getting into universities or colleges in grade 11, I started to explore my different options in terms of career. At St. Augustine, I had many supportive teachers and that started my consideration of becoming a teacher. In grade 12, I started selecting courses in languages and art and started applying to universities and colleges, but I was not sure if I wanted to do concurrent education, so I decided to do the consecutive route. I applied to many different universities, but finally accepted the offer from the University of Toronto at Scarborough since it was close and it was a coop program. 

At UofT, I did my first year in the Arts Management program but did not like the management courses of the program. As a result, I decided to switch majors. Fearing that I would not do well in the French placement test, I refused to do it until that summer when I was bored, I ended up completing the test and I was granted first year university-level French, which lead me to pursue my career in becoming a French teacher. This was also the time when I took Introductory to Spanish and was able to read, write and speak Spanish pretty fluently. Unfortunately, the lack of practice hindered my ability to communicate in Spanish as fluently as I wanted. 

In my fourth year of my undergrad, I applied to York University for the Bachelors of Education program. I believed that my constant volunteering experience during my four years of undergrad at my old high school, the summer camps I ran, and the students I tutored would increase my chance of getting into the program. Luckily, they accepted me and I was able to pursue my education to become a French teacher. 

There is more to my story, but here is only a snippet of my journey. If you are interested in knowing more, feel free to contact me. 

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