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Chinese teacher spearheads Sino-Africa cultural exchange

Updated: 2015-08-30 15:22:11

( Xinhua )

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It was a sorrowful moment for teachers and students of Kibos Secondary School in Western Kenyan Kisumu County when their Chinese teacher bid them bye.

Zhang Wenqiang had won the hearts of the locals by teaching them Chinese and going further to learn the local dialect, Luo, an ethnic community living along the shores of Lake Victoria.

Zhang came to Kenya in 2010 following an agreement between Kenya and Chinese governments to roll out Chinese language in Kenyan schools.

Through this initiative, Zhang interacted with more than 10,000 Kenyan students in Western Kenya.

His desire and patience while teaching the language made not only the students but the locals to seek his services all the time.

"Personally, I'm proud to have been taught by Zhang. Through him, I have learnt how to write and speak Chinese," Steve Odhiambo, a local student, told Xinhua during a recent interview in Kisumu.

According to Zhang, by teaching Chinese, both governments benefit as it promotes good relationship.

"The students were very understanding and interesting. I get calls from different parts of Western Kenya like Kericho, Muhoroni and Siaya who want to learn Chinese and improve their lives. When speaking language of a particular community, there is closeness."

Zhang said even though some students are not able to learn the language effectively, they are able to communicate or speak a few words.

"Chinese is very interesting and if a teacher wants to ensure students to learn faster, he must do some research and compare with their mother tongue," he said.

For beginners, Zhang advised, it is good for the teacher to master the local language - the basic ones like days of the week, greetings to engage the students.

He hopes that the students will further their studies by going to Nairobi, Kenyatta or Moi universities where they offer Chinese language lessons.

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