By Rafa Lombardino
Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with approximately 1.2 billion speakers of all varieties of Chinese and 848 million of them speaking Mandarin alone. According to the Modern Language Association the number of college students studying Chinese has increased over the last decade.
Feifei Fan teaches Chinese language classes in the Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts Department at UC San Diego Extension.
In an effort to match this demand, UC San Diego Extension's Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts Department is offering Chinese for Communication Level I, Level II, and Level III as part of its Spring 2015 class schedule. Feifei Fan, a native speaker from China, teaches all three levels. In the Chinese courses, Feifei creates an enriching learning environment to help students stay motivated and improve their language skills. Previous students have commented that he “makes learning fun” and that “his enthusiasm for Chinese was contagious.”
Feifei moved the United States more than a decade ago and started teaching at UC San Diego Extension in 2013. He brought with him a diverse teaching experience, having taught Chinese and Visual Arts at colleges and universities in China and the United States.
“I hear a lot of interesting stories from my students,” he says. “Their ages range from early twenties to sixties and most of them have a relative from China, such as a father, wife or grandparent.”
With his strong knowledge of language, literature, art and technology, he also studies and researches Chinese calligraphy history and theory, Chinese painting history and theory, and Chinese ancient, modern and contemporary language and literature.
Feifei earned his bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature when he was still in China. At that time, he also taught Chinese Writing in college for four years, mostly to U.S. nationals living in China. He then studied for a second bachelor's degree, this time in Journalism, and worked as a TV reporter and news editor for China Central Television (CCTV) before leaving his native country.
Once he arrived in the United States, Fefei pursued two master's degrees: one in Graphic Design and the other in Technology Education, both of them at West Virginia University. He later earned his MFA in Visual Communication at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he taught Graphic Design as an Adjunct Professor.
After completing his studies on the east coast, Feifei moved to San Diego in December 2009. “I enjoy the cultural diversity here,” he says. “I also participate in a lot of activities in our community, and I volunteer at my daughter's school,” he adds. “In my spare time, I study Chinese calligraphy and enjoy swimming and reading.”
To learn more about UC San Diego Extension’s foreign language program, please visit the area of interest page.