Chinese Language Program Event Recap – A Bittersweet Night: 2021 Year-End Online Appreciation Event

👉 Summer 2021 CLP Volunteer Recruitment:

In the last Chinese Language Program (CLP) event of this school year, volunteers, TAWLs, and professors alike gathered to celebrate the fruit of this year’s hard work. For a reminiscent night full of laughter and emotional sharing, there is only one way to describe the Online Appreciation event: a heartfelt goodbye to our parting members and an anticipatory welcome for what the future holds.

The CLP family sending love and gratitude

Behind every student’s success in their academic journey is a team of dedicated individuals passionate about sharing their knowledge and seeing others flourish – in this appreciation event, these hardworking volunteers, teaching assistants, worklearns, and instructors received the recognition they rightfully deserve.

Professor Sharalyn Orbaugh, Department Head of Asian Studies, started off the night with a moving speech in recognition of the efforts of the CLP community (video linked here). Professor Orbaugh highlighted the impact of the academic team on students’ Chinese learning journey, identifying the dedication of volunteers in hosting oral practice and events, the diligence of the TAWLs, as well as the significance of the devotion of the three parting lecturers from Taiwan.


Volunteer Richard Jiang, actively listening to a Thank You video from the head of the UBC Asian Studies department, professor Sharalyn Orbaugh!

“The CLP Appreciation Event was an unforgettable way to close off my first year volunteering with the Chinese Language Program. Though we’ve all been working remotely, I felt that there was no distance between us, that we were together truly a family.”
— Richard Jiang, fourth-year Finance student and CLP Volunteer


The contributions of the CLP family continuously make the program better year after year, and it’s because of their efforts that learning outside of a classroom setting could be possible. As one last token of appreciation, the Chinese Language Program students left numerous THANK YOU messages on Padlet for all their volunteers, instructors, teaching assistants and worklearns! When presented with over hundreds of heartfelt messages, huge smiles lit up the faces of every single attendee present.

Smiles on everyone’s faces as they were shown a padlet page full of heartwarming messages from grateful students!

A padlet page dedicated to the three visiting lecturers: Li-Jung Lee (李俐蓉), Yinghua Cai (蔡英 桦), and Anyi Li (李安怡)!

It can be hard to visualize the impact one leaves behind, but through the messages of gratitude from students, the fruits of every volunteer’s hard work became tangible and evident. A student from CHIN 131 shares the lasting mark of volunteers in saying “I will always remember the fun times we had practicing the dialogue with our classmates”, while another in CHIN 133 credits their professor to have “[given] us strength and confidence to do well and [encouraged] us to practice without feeling embarrassed or nervous”.


Volunteer Carrie Li, attentively participating in the event!

“The team organized some fun games like guessing pop songs and imitating regional dialects! I enjoyed hearing experiences from other volunteers and TAWLs and seeing the heartfelt messages by students, it was a pleasant surprise. Thank you for everything~”
— Carrie Li, third-year Urban Geography major and CLP Volunteer


Delight continued to radiate throughout the Zoom call as the attendees put on their thinking hats and tested their knowledge of the Chinese language and culture! Through exciting raffle draws, as well as games such as “Song Trivia”, “Emoji to Words”, and “Decipher the Dialect”, everyone was kept on the edge of their seats in anticipation. These mini activities went so much deeper than just letting participants share a laugh together – in fact, they highlighted the diversity of the CLP community and the richness of Chinese culture.

The chatbox is lively with laughter as the answer is finally revealed in a round of “Emoji to Words”!

However, the night was not without moments of melancholy reflection and emotional recollection, as many attendees shared their experiences and how the CLP has shaped them to be who they are today.

Volunteers Susan Zhang (张羽嘉) and Sophia Tao (陶弘扬), a first-year student and a Ph.D. student respectively, spoke on how working with students isn’t just about passing on their Chinese knowledge, but more importantly, being able to learn from the students themselves and creating a sense of community. These two truly represent both the inclusion, diversity and intimacy of the CLP family!

Volunteer Susan Zhang, participating in an exciting round of the “Song Trivia” game!

“Often students think of TAs or volunteers as people who are part of their learning journey but seldom does one have the opportunity to hear what they have learned through taking on such a role. To be able to listen to their reflections was not only thought-provoking, but it also gave me something to aspire to.”
— Susan Zhang, a first-year Science student taking a Chinese heritage course (CHIN243) and CLP Volunteer


The three parting visiting lecturers from Taiwan, Li-Jung Lee (李俐蓉), Yinghua Tsai (蔡 英樺), and Anyi Lee (李安怡) also shared speeches that truly tugged on everyone’s heartstrings. Lecturer Li-Jung Lee recalled how the CLP community has made her UBC experience “多姿多 彩”, referring to the diversity and plurality of the volunteers she’s been able to work alongside. Lecturer Yinghua Tsai shared about how to her, teaching isn’t just simply passing knowledge, but rather helping her students LOVE learning. Similarly, lecturer Anyi Lee, who’s spent nearly half of her 11 years of teaching at UBC, revealed that being a lecturer is just as much about learning from her students as it is them learning from her. While these beloved lecturers all shared on different topics, they all returned to a common theme of comparing the CLP to “娘 家” – mom’s house; the CLP community is, beyond a doubt, a family before it’s a body of co-workers.

Fellow participants expressing their love and support after a touching speech made by the instructors!

Volunteer Verona Huang participating in a surprise event planned for the Visiting Lecturers!

“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the improvement in students you helped throughout the term.”
— Verona Huang, third-year Psychology student and CLP Volunteer


As other graduating TAWL’s and recognized volunteers shared their experiences, everyone present continuously poured out love and support via the reaction functions and the chatbox. Despite the bittersweet emotions, nothing could hinder the attendees from feeling proud of their accomplishments this year and recognizing the impact they’ve left behind!

CHIN 343 and 347 TA Andrew Zhen, enjoying a round of the “Emoji to Words” game!

“I sincerely appreciate all the well wishes and words of encouragement from the professors. I hope we can have a prosperous future as the professors wished for us!”
— Andrew Zhen, fourth-year Biology student and CHIN 343 and 347 TA

CHIN 233 Coordinator Sherry Liu, actively participating in an event activity!

“As always, our activities are always full of laughter. But when I made my farewell speech, I cannot hold the sadness in my heart. The people in this place have taught me so much and made me sure that I want to become a graduate student in education.”
— Sherry Liu, fourth-year Economics major and CHIN 233 Coordinator


Even with the challenges of COVID-19 and online learning, the dedication of the volunteers, the TAWL’s, and the instructors helped UBC’s Chinese program live up to its name as one of the most successful and most comprehensive programs in North America. The CLP is always looking for new members to join the family, so keep an eye out for the new opportunities to join the team in mid-May!

👉 Summer 2021 CLP Volunteer Recruitment: