Voices of Appreciation: Celebrating Excellence at the 2024 Chinese Language Program’s Annual Student Employee Appreciation Event


What better way to express gratitude to the outstanding student employees of the Chinese Language Program (CLP) than by gathering to honor their unwavering dedication and exceptional contributions!

The annual Student Employee Appreciation Event serves as a beacon of appreciation, highlighting the indispensable roles played by Teaching Assistants, Work Learn Assistants, and Volunteers (TAWLV). The CLP TAWLV community stands as the backbone of the program’s success, embodying resilience and passion in their diverse responsibilities. Throughout the year, these individuals have served as guiding lights, offering unwavering support to UBC’s Mandarin language learners. Their efforts extend far beyond the classroom, fostering linguistic proficiency and nurturing intercultural understanding through a rich variety of events and activities.


The dynamic event’s hosts: Songyan Ni (left) and Doris Liao (right)


The CLP TAWLV community convened at UBC’s Asian Studies Auditorium on March 23rd, where the event kicked off with the dynamic WL duo of Songyan Ni and Doris Liao serving as the afternoon’s hosts. With their infectious energy, they warmly welcomed everyone and introduced the first activity of the evening: hobby bingo and freeze games to get the crowd excited! The room buzzed with energy as participants eagerly joined in, reveling in the lively atmosphere that characterized the event.


Ting-Hsuan Chang Laoshi (middle) and WL students engaged in a lively round of hobby bingo


The next activities unfolded as a deeply heartfelt gesture from the CLP community. Coming together in unity, members gathered to partake in the Padlet showcase—a meaningful tradition within the CLP. As each term comes to an end, students express their gratitude to the TAWLV staff through creative, heartfelt messages on Padlet boards. These messages serve as a testament to the dedication and impact of the TAWLV team, encapsulating cherished memories, hard work, and genuine appreciation for the Chinese language learning community at UBC.


Thoughtful messages from TAWLs to each other on padlet


Amidst the showcase, emotions soared as the TAWLV community delved into the compilation of Padlet posts. Laughter intertwined with tears of joy as they fondly reminisced about shared moments and celebrated the profound impact of their collective efforts on the students. The room brimmed with a palpable sense of appreciation, underscoring the deep bond between student employees throughout the year. Such heartfelt expressions of gratitude underscore the significant role of TAWLVs in shaping each other’s experiences while working with the CLP.


Audience engagement throughout the celebration event


Likewise, students also showed their appreciation towards the year’s volunteers and TAWLs. As each student embarked on the challenging journey of mastering a new language, they found themselves deeply grateful to the tireless support of their Oral Practice (OP) language partners. Through their unwavering patience, encouragement, and dedication, these OP volunteers and WLs not only enhanced their linguistic abilities but also instilled newfound confidence in speaking Chinese. Recognizing the pivotal role of TAWLV guidance, students reflect on their transformative journeys, characterized by discovery and personal growth. In heartfelt appreciation, they express profound gratitude for the invaluable assistance provided by the community, acknowledging the impact it has had on their language learning endeavors.


Heartwarming messages from students to TAWLVs on Padlet


“To all the TAs and OP FACs,
Your patience and understanding were truly commendable, making my learning journey immensely enjoyable. Your encouragement and kindness not only boosted my confidence in learning but also alleviated any insecurities I had about speaking Chinese. The dedication and effort you put into making OP enjoyable did not go unnoticed. Thanks to your support and guidance, I am inspired to continue my Chinese language studies and pursue further courses at UBC!”
– an anonymous student from CHIN 143


A fun of Guess Who set up during the intermission


Transitioning to the intermission break, attendees seized the chance to share delicious potluck treats and engage in lively interactive activities. Voices filled the air as participants shared vocal talents in a friendly competition with KTV Karaoke sessions. Additionally, a selection of board and card games offered opportunities for socializing and mingling with instructors and students. Alongside these classic favorites, various other interactive games kept the energy high and the laughter flowing throughout the event. For those who preferred a more strategic challenge, the “Werewolf” and “Magic Words” story games provided an immersive and thrilling experience. With a wide array of options to choose from, there was something for everyone to enjoy and participate in, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.


Students gathered around in an intense game of Werewolf


The subsequent segment of the event marked a poignant tribute to the graduating members of the CLP TAWLV community. Chinese Language lecturers Pihua Lin and Li- Jung Lee took a heartfelt moment to express gratitude towards the student employees, recognizing their pivotal role in driving the program’s success, alongside conveying their best wishes for the future endeavors of these graduates. As names were called and faces illuminated the screen, a sense of pride and honor was evoked throughout the room. This momentous occasion not only celebrated the culmination of their academic journey but also heralded the beginning of new chapters brimming with promise and potential. We extend our sincerest thanks for their invaluable contributions and wish them every success in their future endeavors!


Pihua Lin Laoshi and Li-Jung Lee Laoshi sharing words of kindness and encouragement with graduating TAWLs


2024 graduating TAWLs


As we reflect on the recent gathering, it becomes evident that it was more than just a celebration of hard work—it was a profound testament to the unwavering dedication of the program’s Teaching Assistants, Work Learn Assistants, and Volunteers. Their tireless efforts throughout the year have not only facilitated the journey of Chinese language learners toward proficiency but also nurtured a deeper understanding and appreciation of intercultural exchange.

Social Media and Events Work Learn and 5th-year Asian Area Studies student, Emma Wheeler found working with the CLP to be more than just language acquisition—it provided a sense of community. While mastering a new language presents its challenges, Emma emphasizes how the journey becomes immensely rewarding when shared with others who have similar goals and passions.



“My favorite aspect has undoubtedly been the sense of community I’ve discovered within the CLP. Learning a language can be challenging, but it becomes truly enjoyable when you can converse and engage in the language you’re learning. Through my involvement with the CLP, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting numerous new friends, including both native Chinese speakers and fellow learners like myself. These connections have provided me with invaluable opportunities to forge relationships that I know will endure for years to come!”

– Emma Wheeler, CLP SE Work Learn


Building upon this sense of community, CLP HR Coordinator and 3rd-year Marketing and Business Technology Management student, Doris Liao reflects on her own transformative experience with the CLP, emphasizing the invaluable skills and confidence she has gained through collaboration with a dedicated and diverse team.



“My experience with the CLP has been transformative, teaching me how to thrive in dynamic environments and rapidly acquire new skills—a valuable asset for my future endeavors. Collaborating with such a dedicated and diverse team has also strengthened my leadership abilities and boosted my confidence in my ability to make meaningful contributions.”

– Doris Liao, CLP HR Coordinator


Likewise, CLP Volunteer Coordinator and 2nd-year Materials Engineering student, Xiangang Nie reflected on his experience collaborating closely with the dedicated volunteers who support the program, highlighting the qualities he has come to understand and appreciate among them.



“During my one and a half years at CLP, I’ve seen throughout my work the significance of sincerity, diligence, teamwork, and effective communication. I’ve made dedicated efforts to embody these values, consistently pushing beyond my comfort zone. I am confident that the valuable skills I’ve cultivated during my tenure at CLP will propel me towards greater achievements in the future.”

– Xiangang Nie, CLP Volunteer Coordinator


The event was further enriched by the presence of graduating TAWLs, who shared their insights and wisdom, inspiring current TAWLVs. These seasoned TAWLs have played a pivotal role in establishing a robust foundation for the CLP’s co-curricular and extracurricular activities, which have been integral to the program’s ongoing success. CLP TAWL Coordinator and 5th-year Psychology student, Xiaotong Mo provided insights into her decision to become a TAWL.



“I’ve always been passionate about the education field and found the opportunity to assist students in practicing Chinese and exploring Chinese culture to be both fascinating and meaningful. My decision was solidified after experiencing the rewarding interactions with students during my time as a TAWL, confirming my pursuit in the education field.”

– Xiaotong Mo, CLP TAWL Coordinator


Exemplifying the ever-evolving nature of the CLP community, we highlight the program’s role not only in fostering linguistic proficiency, but also in shaping the personal and professional growth of its members. Current CLP Tutorial Coordinator and 4th-year Economics student, Songyan Ni provides valuable insights into his transformative experience within the CLP, shedding light on the diverse opportunities for growth and development offered by the program.



“Through my time with the program, planning events such as the TA/WL/Volunteer
Training Workshops and Professional Development Workshops not only honed my leadership and event planning skills but also provided opportunities to exchange diverse and constructive ideas with colleagues. These experiences have been instrumental in clarifying my future career path, solidifying the Chinese Language Program as a crucial steppingstone in my professional development journey.”

– Songyan Ni, CLP Tutorial Coordinator


The event drew to a close with a grand finale—a heartfelt award ceremony devoted to recognizing the outstanding contributions of the TAWLV community. Gathered together, attendees expressed their appreciation for the remarkable efforts of these individuals throughout the 2024 academic year. The room resonated with applause as each recipient was honored for their dedication, innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence. This ceremony served as a fitting tribute to the collective achievements that have propelled the TAWLV community forward, leaving everyone feeling inspired and invigorated for the journey ahead.


Yang Li Laoshi cutting the thank you cake


TAWLV Award Winners Photo Gallery

The Helpful Heart Award

This category exemplified community members who demonstrated excellence in initiative

Awarded to Haichuan Chen (middle), Yayu Tang (right), Kaiyan Zhang, and Sun Yao, presented by CLP TAWL alumni Xinyue Wu (left)


The Time Master Award

This category exemplified community members who demonstrated excellence in dedication

Awarded to Xingqin Lu (middle), Yongzhe Yan (right), Chen Ji, and Yiyi Li, presented by CLP TAWL alumni Jingfei Lin (left)


The Beacon Award

This category exemplified community members who demonstrated excellence in leadership

Awarded to Xiaotong Mo (2nd from left), Xiangang Nie (3rd from left), Songyan Ni (right), and Chuoli Guan, presented by CLP TAWL alumni Kaili Chen (Left)


The Ingenuity Award

This category exemplified community members who demonstrated excellence in innovation

Awarded to (from left to right) Xinyu Lin, Yanbing Chen, Doris Liao, and Angelia Tu, presented by Chinese Language Lecturer Li Yang (right)


Volunteers of the Year

Awarded to Luoqi Wang (middle) and Chunyu Peng (right), presented by Chinese Language and Literature Lecturer Dr. Zheng Cai (left)


TAWLs of the Year

Awarded to Jiaxu Wang (2nd from left), Xiaoyi Yang (3rd from left), and Yichen Liu (right), presented by Associate Professor of Teaching Dr. Xiaowen Xu (left)


As attendees departed with hearts full of appreciation and inspiration, they carried with them the reminder that it is through collaboration, passion, and a shared commitment to learning that communities thrive and grow. Until next year’s celebration, the echoes of gratitude will continue to resonate, reminding us all of the transformative power of education and language learning! We extend our heartfelt thank you to all the student employees of the CLP for their unwavering dedication and diverse talents.



Thank you message to everyone attending and helping out with the event

Lastly, summer volunteer recruitment to join the dynamic CLP team will commence in May, offering exciting opportunities to become part of our dedicated and supportive community. We welcome you to keep an eye out for updates and announcements on how to get involved through @ubcchinese!


Written by Isidora Bašanović and Angelia Tu
Photos by Manyi Chen and Jiaying Zhang