La Salle Study Centre Changjiao

November 2012 Newsletter







Greetings to all from La Salle Provincialate, Petaling Jaya , Malaysia .  Peace and Joy is within you.   

I returned to K.Lumpur on 22nd November for my annual end of year holiday.  It is good to be home!  

This is a rather late report as I normally write four quarterly reports each year.  So, I am combining the 3rd and 4th quarter report into this one November report for year 2012.  

For those who have been following our story, you will know that LSSC is very much in the Chinese news for the better part of 2012.  There were newspapers stories, TV documentaries by different TV stations including CCTV and articles and videos in the Chinese internet.  In my July report I wrote, “For those of you who can read Chinese and are interested in the media publicity about LSSC Changjiao, please type in the word <Baidu> into a search engine.  Once into “Baidu” either type in or cut-and paste the name <廖乐年〉and you will be able to follow the media reports and videos about LSSC Changjiao.  Another way to follow this media publicity is to go to .”  

As a result of the publicity generated, we expected increased requests for places in our Summer English Reading Programme.  So it was.  We had students coming from through the length and breath of Guangdong Province and even from other provinces as well such as Hainan , Fujian and Sichuan .  As we expected the number to increased, we made use of the RMB50,000 donation from the Meizhou Education Office to expand our sitting capacity from 80 to 160 by putting a transparent roof above the center courtyard of my grandfather’s house and constructed a cement platform to raise it.   

To take pressure off the summer programme, we conducted a special English Reading and Speaking Programme for Senior High Three students from 18th to 29th June.  About 80 Senior High School students who had just completed their university entrance exam (Gaokao) attended this programme.  The aim was to improve their reading skills and give them confidence to speak in public.  The response to this programme was very encouraging as the students got into the rhythm real fast and within a week they were eager to stand up to speak.  I am seriously considering making this into an annual event at LSSC as well.

We also ran a special one week programme from 9th to 13th July for Primary 6 and Junior Middle. These students had registered to join our summer programme but had not attended classes at LSSC before. Our stated purpose was to ensure they will not be “lost” when they join the summer programme.  We were in for a surprised!!!  Almost all who were new to LSSC had already learnt our Basic Sounds and Chang of Sounds system from their friends or classmates or relatives.  It was an eye opener for us.  Those interested in joining our programme made sure that they already knew our basic system.  We ended the programme after just 4 days.   

For this 2012 Summer English Reading Programme (16th July to 10th August) we decided in advance that all regular students were automatically admitted as we ran test for them the last two weeks before our weekend classes ended on June 3rd.  Still, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July, I had to spend 5 hours each morning to interview new students.  Apart from the stated two days for registration for local students, we still had to handle non-local students who came at odd days and times to register … and also to look for accommodation in Baijiang.  That was a new phenomenon.  Rooms in Baijiang suddenly had rental value!!!  We were totally unprepared for this.  I helped by buying 14 foldable beds and lent them to those who had rooms to rent. 

We also had a number of out of state university students who came with just a back-pack and a strong desire to improve their spoken English.  Most had written to request admission while two came out of the blue.  Fortunately, some villagers did not mind taking in the university students but they had to have their meals at LSSC.  Consequently our dinning hall had to serve 11 tables each meal.  

This year we had two teams of overseas volunteers.  As usual, La Salle College , Kowloon sent 9 students volunteers and there was a lone volunteer from St. Joseph ’s College, Hongkong.  They arrived on 14th July and left on 28th July.  I want to express my thanks to the teachers of LSC Kowloon who accompanied them.  The next team of volunteers was a couple from Kuala Lumpur, Lee Voon and K.C. Wan (former students of St. Michael’s Inst. Ipoh) and a three generations group of grandma and grandpa, Margaret Kam and Billy Oo of Penang, son-in-law Paul Goldsbrough of Winsor and his daughter Althea Yulin 15 who was born in Beijing and son little Johnathan who was only 5 years old.  This second team joined us for the 3rd and 4th week.  I want to thank all our overseas volunteers for their many contributions to the success of our summer programme 2012.  

This is the first time in the history of our Summer Programme that we had volunteers from one family stretching three generations.  We also made history locally as all three team leaders of the small groups programme were Chinese university students who had been studying and working with us for 10 years.  Their leadership of their respective teaching teams and the small group learning activities was remarkable.  They were efficient as well as creative and as a result I could concentrate fully on my own teaching programme, leaving the group activities entirely in their capable hands.  

The theme we chose for 2012 was Sincerity-Respect-Humility-Peace (---) based on the Confucian book 第子规 Di Zi Gui which is gaining popularity in China today.  Our reading booklet was printed in Chinese and in English to enable the students to learn to read and to understand easily.   

In the past, we use English songs only but this year we decided to include two very popular Chinese songs, Friends and True Hero, which we translated into English lyrics that matched and could be sung.  It was an instant hit.  This is another eye-opener this year.  It always works well from the known to the unknown just as our unique reading method Pinphonics is based on the Chinese Pinyin.  

This long report is incomplete if we do not say a few words about our community development work in the village.  There is no success as success.  So, thank God, we had a successful pomelo harvest this year.  Many families had substantial unexpected income.  The mood is there.  I can foresee more villagers working hard looking after their pomelo trees and hopefully more cooperation in drainage and road building activities as everyone wants easy access to the hill.  The pig farm is also showing signs of reaching the turning point where there will be potential income to offset the capital investments.  I will write more about this in my first report in 2013.   

With this happy note I end this report.  As always, I want to thank everyone who cares for this little mission in Changjiao and who have been supporting us morally, materially, financially and spiritually.  This LaSallian out-reach project in China is made possible by our LaSallian spirit of Faith-Service-Community. 

Take care and God bless.  On behalf of all my students and villagers of Changjiao, I wish one and all an early greeting of a Peaceful and Joyful Christmas.


As always with love in the service of youth and nation through DLS,


La Salle Provincialate,
Petaling Jaya.
25th Nov 2012


All good things must come to an end... that better things may begin!!!
Fraser's Hill -1976 - BDLiao