When I started working with Luke, I had one specific goal: to pass the MTLE subtest 2 for Chinese Mandarin. This test is one of the licensing tests required for teachers of Chinese as a Foreign Language in Minnesota. For a native speaker of Chinese, the licensing tests do not pose a serious challenge, but I am not a native speaker. Prior to meeting with Luke, I had already taken several years of Chinese at the university level. I had also been accepted to the licensing program at the University of Minnesota for teaching Chinese, and I had passed the first subtest. Nonetheless, subtest 2 was a daunting challenge for me because it required me to speak and write spontaneously, so I decided to hire a tutor to help me.
I am glad I chose Luke to help me with this task. He understood what I needed, and he was flexible enough to let me go at my own pace and adapt to what I wanted to work on. In particular, I was happy that he was willing to let me practice speaking on topics, both related to the test and my own personal interests. I appreciated being able to discuss cultural matters with a native speaker.
Like most students of Chinese, I learned about Chinese New Year in my Chinese classes, but I feel that working with Luke really helped me deepen my knowledge of such cross-cultural situations. The short-term benefit of such knowledge, of course, is that it helped me pass my test. But the long-term benefit is that I feel I can build on that knowledge to expand my understanding of China and Chinese culture, and to inform my teaching practices in the future. Thank you, Luke, for sharing your language and cultural insights with me. I shall be forever grateful.