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Dr Rania Katavouta to receive Shanghai's Silver Magnolia Award for teaching Greek to Chinese students

The professor will receive her award on September 6

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Dr Rania Katavouta

31 August 2017

Rania Katavouta, a doctoral candidate of modern Greek literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, relocated to China back in September 2014 to teach Greek language and literature at the Department of Greek Studies of the University of International Studies in Shanghai.

On 6 September, exactly three years later, the city of Shanghai is to award her the Silver Magnolia Award for her exemplary work, the Athens News Agency (AMNA) reports.

“The criterion for my candidacy,” Katavouta said, “was my teaching as well as the organisation and participation in a series of events related to Greek and Chinese culture.”

The Magnolia Awards are bestowed on foreigners working in Shanghai, who contribute to the development of the city and to strengthening relations between China and their country of origin. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Shanghai International Studies University signed the Scientific Co-operation Agreement in 2013 and have been in collaboration since.

“Teaching Greek to Chinese students, who are interested in Greek culture and know a lot about ancient history and mythology, was an interesting challenge,” the professor explained.

“Even though Greek is not their first choice, they show determination and they manage and overcome the linguistic differences and difficulties.”

According to Katavouta the main challenges for Chinese students learning Greek is pronunciation and sounds in the Greek language that don’t exist in Chinese.

Katavouta was nominated as a candidate for the award by the Shanghai University of International Studies. “The criterion for my candidacy,” she noted, “was my teaching as well as the organisation and participation in a series of events related to Greek and Chinese culture.”

Katavouta said the main challenge Chinese students are faced with when learning Greek concern pronunciation and certain sounds that do not exist in Chinese, something that requires a lot of training.

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