Why I chose to study Chinese by Joel Leavitt, Assistant Principal, John G. Diefenbaker High School




Hi everyone, my name is Joel Leavitt and I’m a teacher at John G Diefenbaker High School.  I’m really happy that I have a chance to chat about why I chose to study Chinese, why it’s important to study Chinese and my feelings about Chinese in general.

When I was 19 years old, I began to study Chinese.  In university in the States, I was required to choose a second language to study.  I chose Chinese because I really liked the beautiful characters.  A couple years later, I went to Taiwan to continue studying Chinese and to teach English to some kindergarten kids.  After 3 years in Taiwan, I moved to Canada where I enrolled at the University of Calgary to study Chinese language, Chinese culture and Chinese history.  Even though it was not easy to study Chinese and was difficult at times, I believe that the studies have really helped me in life.  I am able to help newcomers to Canada, especially new arrivals from China that may not have strong English skills.  Even though my Chinese is still not great, I still try to practice everyday.  I am not afraid to make mistake which helps me to improve.  I hope all of you can come and try to practice with me so we can study Chinese together.  Thanks everyone!