La Salle Study Centre Changjiao
2012 – TEACHING ENGLISH AT LSSC CHANGJIAO
David Liao had kept me posted from day one (about 11 years ago) of his
aspiration to help his clansmen, the Hakkas.
He also sent me emails with photos, of the progress of his
aspiration, faithfully. He
invited me many a time, to visit LSSC and I said I would, some day.
I decided to visit LSSC with my husband, Billy.
When I made known my plans to my daughter, Shirlene, she decided
that she would get her family to join us.
So, my husband, my son-in-law, Paul, my grand daughter, Althea,
my grand son, Jonathan and I started to book our flights.
My son-in-law my grand children were going to LSSC from
we arrived at LSSC, in the summer of 2012.
Brother David and his nephew were kind enough to pick us up from
the Coach Station in Dabu. Then
I told Brother David I was waiting to see the class rooms in which he
was conducting his English classes and he asked me, “What class
room?” I replied, “You
know, class rooms in which you teach English and we are going to help
you teach English?” He
just said, “Wait and see tomorrow.”
behold! What I saw was not
anything I had imagined! The
“classes” were actually many, many groups of students with their
respective “teachers”, sat on red stools all over, including beside
toilets. And the students
came from far and wide.
saw was indeed amazing and what I found out from the students (both past
and present) on their opinion of LSSC was truly more amazing!
They have all benefited a lot from attending the classes at LSSC.
And from my tutorials with the more senior girls (don’t know
why the boys shied away from my tutorials) I found them to have truly
amazing imagination. I gave
them pretty difficult topics to talk about (considering that they came
from very Chinese-speaking back ground, learning English under very
constrained circumstances) and they had to talk off the cuff!
the flame burning, Brother David. You
are doing a GREAT job and your clan will be formidable one day soon,
because of their knowledge of English.
God bless you and your great work.
would like to thank Bro David Liao for inviting me, my wife, my
son-in-law, my granddaughter and my grandson to help teach English in
LSSC. It was so heartening to see the five hundred over students so
eager to learn English and this makes our teaching very easy and
enjoyable. This one month's stay in LSSC has opened our eyes to what
great work Bro David has done for the children of the community of
Changjiao and its surrounding area. The years Bro David has sacrificed
in this centre has seen great results when past students now studying in
the University return to help out in LSSC. This
is a great proof of the success of LSSC. God gave Bro David Liao a dream
and he has persevered no matter how difficult or uncomfortable he feels.
He has turned this dream to reality and a great success too. My
family will continually give him the support in his endeavours and may
God shower his blessing on him. Thank
you Bro David for the experience.
with my two children, Althea (15) and Jonathan (5), we were blessed
with the experience of helping out at the La Salle Study Centre (LSSC)
in Changjiao. There were three aims for our visit: to help teach English
or at least give the students the chance to hear different English
accents. Secondly, for my children to see their grandparents, who
also flew in from
part, I found the organisation of the place amazing. To cater for nearly
500 students throughout the summer course and in a limited space was not
much short of miraculous, yet it ran very smoothly. Brother David had
the benefit of former students repeatedly returning to assist in the
supervision and managing of the day-to-day operation of the Centre and
this is most definitely a testament to the value that these students
have placed on their education here. There was a really strong sense of
community amongst the students, both older and younger, that was
welcoming and encouraging and this made us feel at home. This was
contageous, emanating from Brother David who expelled huge amounts
of energy in his enthusiastic and inspiring lessons, using his own
system for teaching English which was intriguing in itself!
a surprise to discover how far afield students had come, some having
travelled nearly 12 hours by train with no more than a rucksack and
no guarantee of a place on arrival. Others came daily via bus from the
local villages or towns.
We were immersed
in the experience, having both the same accomodation as the
students and sharing meals with them all. Once we had got used
to the 'harder' mattresses, sleep arrived without any problems! The
meals were often simple but wholesome, catering for over 100 mouths
at a time, and relied on the goodwill and generosity of the local
villagers and wider community for donations, many of whom had or have
had children attending the Centre. Even
when I went in to Dabu to have meatball noodles, I struggled to pay for
my meal once it was discovered I had been helping out at LSSC.
a very humbling experience for myself and Althea (Jonathan was oblivious
to most of it) when we consider the wealth of opportunities
available to individuals in the UK in terms of education and career
path and also knowing how much difference the ability to speak good
English as a non-native English speaker can have on a person's prospects
for both their future and that of their family. If we have helped even
one student move closer towards that life-changing path, then our visit
has been worthwhile.
like to thank Brother David, Lucy, Yanni, Angeline and all those
that helped make our time at LSSC so memorable.
Salle Study Centre is a local school teaching English to Chinese
children, ages 7-18. It was founded in 2001 by David Liao, a De La Salle
Brother. The De La Salle order is supported and sustained by a spirit of
faith, a culture of service and a sense of community. Brother David
started out with only a small group of Chinese students, in the
giving free education to the children, Brother David also supplies his
students with free textbooks and teaching materials. He has helped the
Changjiao local schools a great deal by providing the school with
funding to install necessary facilities and to implement educational
David is very serious in his teaching. Students
find his lessons interesting and effective. Some pupils, who were the
first students ever taught English by Brother David regard him as a
father. Everyone has the greatest respect for him. On first meeting him,
I could easily see what a kind-hearted, generous, religious and
intelligent man he was, and I absolutely loved Brother David’s
home-spun, but profound, wisdom: an example of this: ‘do what you can,
and can what you can’t.’ This means that if you cannot do something,
then you should forget about it, put it in a can, and stop worrying
about it, as ‘you should not worry worries, until worry worries
his influence, most students have developed good learning habits and
they are all regarded as the future hope of the village and country. In
order to enhance better learning outcome, Brother David renovated an old
house which belonged to his nephew (actually his grandfather’s house)
and turned it into a clean and bright tuition centre last year (in fact
in 2006). When I first entered the main building, where most of the
teaching would take place, I imagined classrooms with desks and chairs.
Instead, there were only bright red stools, stacked up high.
summer, I was quite sad at leaving Changjiao, because I made many
friends and really enjoyed my experience there, so I have decided to go
back next summer, hopefully having raised money to help the Study
Centre. Another word, or rather phrase, of wisdom from Brother David is
that ‘all good things must come to an end, so that better things may
All good things must
come to an end...