In 1982, a now obscure rock band named Tommy Tutone (That’s him on the right) recorded a Top 40 radio-friendly hit song about a girl and her telephone number — Jenny (867-5309) — that’s still a staple on the oldies circuit and you can hear in on Tommy Tutone .
It’s also, it turns out, one way to teach Chinese numerals to elementary school-age students.
Wang Ping, 37, is a teacher from China spending the winter and spring teaching Chinese, and Chinese history and culture, to students at Sunderland Elementary School in Vermont
The rest of the year she teaches English in Shoujuan, a city of about 100,000 people in Shandong Province, about four hours by car from Beijing, the capital city. There, the total school enrollment is about 5,400, and a typical class averages 50, sometimes 70 students.
The classroom experience here has given her ample opportunity to compare the two different cultures, she said.
‘American students are more creative and open minded,’ she said. ‘The students can give their own opinions and they can ask questions without my reminding them.’
On the other hand, American students seem to know relatively little about Chinese history and culture.
Few seem to have heard of Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese Communist party during the 1930s up until his death in 1976 and who led the takeover of the government of China in 1949.