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Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463718691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463718695
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,735,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I'm giggling in bed, I haven't laughed with an author in a long time. Dozens of screaming Chinese kids versus one Mormon kid who sorta-kinda knows what he's doing. The way he—sparingly and tastefully—writes in accents makes parts of the book hilarious. I feel like I'm listening to a rollicking, self-deprecating story." -- The Uncustomary Book Review

"Overall, I liked Yes China! and would recommend it to someone who wants an account of what it's like being an ESL teacher in China. It's a good effort from a talented young author. I'll definitely be interested to see what Clark writes next." -- Mark's China Blog

"I would still recommend it to people considering teaching English in China, or current teachers who are looking for someone to commiserate with. It can be easily finished in a couple of sittings, and is worth the few hours it takes to complete it." -- Seeing Red in China

More About the Author

Clark Nielsen is an American-born author and web/game developer who loves to travel as much as he loves to write. He has over two years of experience teaching English as a foreign language and has made several trips to China for that very purpose. Of course, now he visits China for other reasons; that's where his wife is from. The two of them currently live in Los Angeles, where Clark continues to spend his free time writing fantasy fiction.

Customer Reviews

The book also goes into the difficulty of socializing within a society that is foreign to you.
Christopher J. Cowen
Now that the teaching disclaimer is out of the way, I must say I really enjoyed reading this book, for hours at a time.
J. Niggl
Clark has a unique sense of humor and if you get pleasure from laughing, this book will make you feel good.
Paul F

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By scott on September 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've never really wanted to travel to china, it's never been on my list of top 10 places I want to go before I die. This book changed that. I feel like I now have a much better understanding of a culture that vastly different from mine. I get to appreciate the comments about Mormon culture in Utah because that's where I grew up and feel like the author and i shared a lot of similar experiences.
The writing style of this book is much like sitting and listening to a good friend tell you a story. It's funny, happy, heart breaking and if public bathrooms bother you it's gut wrenching.
Just ordered another book by this author and I'm excited to get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By --LR on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Clark is hilarious and honest! His book includes discussions about his English classes at most age levels, which are adventures of their own. He also interlaces chapters about his new surroundings and experiences out of the classroom. We get to listen in on his perceptions of China, the U.S., and maybe even himself.

This is a really fun read for anyone who is interested in China or breaking out of their comfort zone!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Waters on August 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having taught English in China, I wish I had known everything in this book before I went. I had my own, very inaccurate ideas about China and when I came to live and work there, it was very stressful dealing with surprise after surprise. From tips for managing huge classrooms, to teaching lessons for every age level and type of educational setting, to living daily routines like shopping and being the only foreigner around, this hilarious book will prepare you for the experience like no other. It will help you make informed decisions about where to teach/work, what to expect when you do business with the Chinese, and even find fun things to do during your off hours. Even if you are not going to China to teach, you will learn a lot about the culture and what to expect when renewing your visa, finding a place to live, learning the language, and socializing. It is a quick, fun read, and an honest, clear view of what to expect. And when you are done, you will be able to navigate around China like a pro!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dallas K. Torgersen on March 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. I don't know what is so entertaining about someone being hassled by a classroom full of Chinese kids, but something about it is pretty amusing.

One example of what I like in the book: Nielsen does an activity on the board where he writes I ___YOU on the board and asks students to name a word they could fill in the blank with. "Knife!" shouts one of the students immediately. "I knife you? Uh.. I guess you could say that."

But while his students range from endearing to amusing to annoying, the book isn't about making fun of "Engrish" or belittling English learners--Nielsen is a lot harder on himself in the book than he is on his students--it's about the things that Nielsen learned being in a foreign country and away from his family and friends for the first time.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone considering teaching English in a foreign country, or a young person who wants to live in China for a while, or anyone who has visited Asia and will get a good laugh as they remember the first time they celebrated an American holiday overseas or had to use a public restroom that they weren't prepared for.

I'd also recommend it to those who like the writing style of Bill Bryson, author of "A Walk in the Woods".
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Czechone on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Have to start this by echoing a couple opinions from another review here by "HombreTel". I too found the in class chapters somewhat boring and very repetitive, to the point they all seemed to be more or less the same chapter and eventually found myself skim reading them as the book went on. As opposed to some of the chapters about life outside class which were far more interesting.

I was also lost on the sense of humour in the book. The author was clearly trying VERY HARD to be funny but it seemed somewhat contrived, rather than a natural ability to write in witty way, and it came off pretty goofy and childish.

He also had an annoying and frequent habit of almost self-narrating within his own story by continuously making conversational style comments to what he'd written, such as:
- "If I didn't make any further attempts to talk to her (and can you see why?) she'd say ..."
- "... I almost lost control of my bladder (and, if you read the last chapter, you know how easily that could have happened)"
... and this type of "parenthesised commentary" happened regularly throughout the whole book, which made for a frustrating read and spoiled the flow of his writing, for me anyway.

Also, whether to prove his point about some Chinese people there not speaking English well or just for added "humour", he'd write their statements in an almost mocking manner e.g.:
- "The Chinese teacher stopped me in the hall ... "Ze students are bad students. I'm sorry. Zey not very good wis English"
... which happened a lot, and he did this literal transcription of his students' obviously not fluent speech also. Again this seemed a bit immature to me and not particularly respectful either.
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