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A “Date” with Lev

Revision:Yang HaiyanDate:2016/12/25



Brief Introduction:

Lev Navarre(赵子柳),possesses a dual role as a researcher and a teaching fellowship in CCNU , connecting CCNU and Yale-China Association(雅礼协会).

During the academic year (2016-2017) , he is teaching Bible course in  English department of CCNU.

Besides, Lev is an American of mixed parentage(Chinese and Jewish), whose grandmother once stayed at Huazhong College (CCNU’s predecessor institution )during the World War II, for the reason, he is now collaborating with the History department to do researches concerned with his grandmother. What’s more, his distinctive teaching style also distinguishes him from other teachers. So, let’s get close to Lev and know more about him.


Life in CCNU

“Now, I’m very comfortable in CCNU. Life in CCNU is pleasant, peaceful and low-pressure.” said by Lev.


Sometimes he walks around the campus just to appreciate the beautiful scenery, which he think is totally different from the outside. He prefer to relieve himself by staying at home and cooking a meal, through which the fast pace of life can be slowed down. He also mentioned that he enjoys eating Fired rice, Chao mian(fried noodles) and spicy food.

When asked about emoji, a kind of photograph with added words to express special feelings which is prevalent among Chinese youth, he burst into laughter, for many of his expressions have been made into “BiaoQingBao” by his students. “I didn’t know that until my students showed me. It’s so funny. But I also know two things from it, one is that my students have done it for a long time, the other is that there are many other my BiaoQingBao that they haven’t shown me.”


apart from the tolerance of the emoji joke, the coffee prepared for students in the last class also impressed students.


Study about Chinese

Lev’s fluent mandarin astonishes many students. But his leaning process is not quite smooth, until a leader of his studying program in Beijing Normal University in 2008, inspired him a lot in language learning. “Don’t be afraid to lose face, in order to improve your skills, you must first make mistakes,then receive the corrections, and then you must correct yourself and finally make progress.” he said.


Lev has great interest in Chinese traditional culture. He loves the Analects ofConfucius(论语), whose inner ideas are very attractivefor him. And he has researched some significant movements happened in Chinese history, like the May Fourth Movement.    

Teaching in class

Lev is inclined to group discussion in classes, he believes from which students can think independently and expressed freely. “Even if the ideas may conflict with each other, that’s OK.” he said.


Having been a trainer of SAT in Beijing, he figured out that the biggest misunderstanding of Chinese students towards these tests like SAT TOEFL, IELTS or GRE is that many students confuse the true meaning of tests . “Whether IELTS or TOFEL, it’s the evaluation of students’ entire level of experience. The test is not important, what important is underneath the test --- various abilities, like reading ability, writing ability, communicative ability, etc. However,most students prepare for the test, but not abilities. ” he sighed.


In his perspective, grades can  not reflect the true ability of a student. He also stressed that the priority of a good teacher is to help students grow.When a teacher teaches something new, he must think a question --- “Does it help students?”  


Some Cultural difference:

As for cultures in China and America, he said that there are some similarities, like teenage girls of two countries both love taking selfies. And he mentioned that he had a cheap vehicle when he’s in high school, for vehicles in America are rather inexpensive. Many teenagers work to buy their first car, which is rare in China.  


Attitudes towards Love

“If you broke up, it’s OK. In next relationships, you shall know what’s easy and what’s difficult, and what about your social skills. Remember to introspectwhether or not you’re a good girlfriend/boyfriend in the last relationship. And in the future, try to be a better person.” said Lev, which refers to dating culture.


About the future, Lev’s contract will end at June, 2017. He really misses his families, he’s likely to go home and spends more time with them.

“The future is uncertain. But it would be silly for me not to go back to China, in which I have spent a lot of time. I speak Chinese, understand the people and culture, and know how to do things here. It’s a waste of my skills if I don’tcome back.” he smiled.


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