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Office of Global Affairs

October 30, 2015

China, revisited

Jane Yang, UW sophomore, is the Mandarin tutor for the men's basketball team

Jane Yang, a UW sophomore who grew up in Shanghai, is teaching the UW men’s basketball team about her language and culture. Now, she’s looking at her home — and herself — with fresh eyes.

In preparation for the Pac-12 China Game and related cultural activities during the trip, the team is taking a travel-writing course that covers culture, customs, teamwork and identity. English Professor Shawn Wong leads the majority of each class, but Yang is the class’ Mandarin tutor, and she begins each day by teaching the players basic phrases.

Born in Taiwan but raised in Shanghai, Yang graduated from an international school and is fluent in Mandarin, English and Spanish. With plans to major in English and communication — and to be a teacher or professor someday — she is also challenging herself at the UW as a teaching assistant for another of Wong’s writing courses, and as a writing tutor at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library’s Writing & Research Center. So far, she’s learned that the act of teaching is often inseparable from self-discovery — especially when it comes to teaching others about China.

Read more of this feature by Jamie Swenson.