Students “have a knack for languages”

Mark Wang, a SPIRAL teacher of Chinese, is impressed with the students he has been teaching at the New London Public Schools and Rice Memorial High School.

He says, “As a native Chinese speaker, I can say with confidence that some students from New London and Rice seem to have a knack for languages. They perform fabulously in pronunciation (Chinese Pin-Yin system), including those tricky sounds considered to be very hard for foreigners.”

Students at both schools have been studying in the Learn Chinese and Travel to China (LCTC) Program. LCTC is a fully remote, credit-bearing course offered by SPIRAL to collaborating schools.

Mark shares, “I’m amazed that the Chinese literature and culture intrigued American students so much, that some of them already got a certain immersion before learning the language.

By learning some Chinese traditions and customs, the students gradually grew more curious about Chinese culture. For example, one time they asked me for the superstitions that we Chinese folks believed. So I shared that the Chinese don’t have a haircut during the first month of lunar year, because we believe that if you do so, you’ll jeopardize your uncle’s life.”

Lastly, Mark says that, “In addition to daily basic instruction in the Chinese language, students also learned that the dialects in various areas of China are so different that they’re practically different languages. And students learned that there are dozens of ethnic minority groups peacefully co-existing in China.”

Congratulations to students for another successful year of learning about Chinese language and culture!

Chinese culture - lion statue in Beijing

LCTC-I emphasizes learning and practicing daily conversational dialogues, as well as learning about traditional and contemporary aspects of four Chinese metropolitan cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an).

LCTC-II is an advanced-level course for students who have successfully finished their first year of instruction. Students continue learning more dialogues and also learn Chinese characters; by the end of the two years of learning, students will be fluently speaking, reading and writing the Chinese Language!