Ursuline’s Mandarin Chinese Class has been busy this year!
In May Shen’s class, students can integrate many subjects and activities to connect with their real lives. She hopes that through class activities, her students enjoy learning the language and culture and find connections.
Ximena Bailon '23 loves the class because Ms. Shen looks at learning the language as a journey.
To learn more about the culture, Ximena and her classmates celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival on September 13. The holiday, similar to Thanksgiving, is a time for family reunions and hanging up lanterns.
“I really liked how we were able to learn stories about the festival,” Ximena said. “All of the legends were incredible and entertaining to hear.”
Other activities included watching videos together, looking at classmate's projects about the festival, and trying new foods like mooncake, golden kiwi, and dragon fruit. “I had never eaten any of these foods and it was fun to try them and discover how delicious they were,” Ximena said.
A few weeks later, the class traveled to the University of Oklahoma on September 25, for the Confucius Institute Day & Chinese Culture Festival.
“The trip was a great opportunity to learn about Chinese culture,” said Grace Olden '21. She has been learning Chinese since the 4th grade and loves it because it is so interesting and unique.
“Chinese is so different from English or other romance languages,” she said. “It is one of the oldest and most spoken languages in the world.”
Grace enjoys that the class not only learns the language, but also explores Chinese culture through projects and fun activities. Lucy Tran ’22 agrees with her and says the most enjoyable part of class to her is the ability to learn about the culture.
“I decided to learn Chinese because it really spoke to me,” Lucy said. “I like learning about other Asian cultures and find any Asian culture in general, very fascinating.”
Her favorite part of the field trip was learning to play the guzheng, a Chinese instrument. The class also attended a workshop by Dr. Johnathan Stalling who has over 20 years of experience in researching and teaching Writing Classical Chinese Poetry.