In 2010, my school was fortunate enough to have received a Fulbright scholar come from China to teach us basic Mandarin Chinese. It was because of this teacher that my interest in the Chinese language and culture bloomed and encouraged me to continue to learn Chinese.
I first came to Chiao Hsin in the summer of 2011 through the Startalk program, after my dad brought home a flyer advertising the program. With only a year’s worth of Chinese, I was eager to improve my skills and learn more. I was fortunate to have been placed in Ms. Wu’s class where I learned more than I imagined in just five weeks. Each invigorating class was taught in only Chinese, which helped me expand my vocabulary very quickly. We learned how to express our thoughts and feelings toward different topics, in addition to learning about the rich Chinese culture through activities such as the lion dance and Chinese yo-yo. I was relieved to know that continuing classes would be held on Saturdays so that I wouldn’t forget all of the valuable Chinese I had learned. In 2013, after the classes had gotten too easy, I retained my Chinese by going to Chiao Hsin on Saturdays to help out as a teacher’s aid in the continuing class, where I was able to work with students who needed the extra help.
After just three years spent in Chiao Hsin’s Startalk program, I was ready to move on and be a part of Chiao Hsin’s very first College Credit Class.
I am very thankful to Ms. Wang, Ms. Wu, and all of my Chinese teachers who have helped me and guided me along the way, preparing me for using my Chinese in the real world. By learning Mandarin Chinese, the most commonly spoken language in the world, I have been able to meet so many new people and make so many new memories. I believe that you can learn any language you want, and as many as you want, as long as you have the persistence and motivation to keep going. Languages open up so many opportunities to experience different cultures and try new things. One day, I hope to use the languages I know and the knowledge I have gained through these experiences to make a difference in the world. Whether it be through something small such as teaching a language class, or through something bigger such as being the ambassador to another country, I hope to make an impact. Language is a beautiful thing. It is what helps us understand one another, and brings us closer in a whole other way. As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.”
I am proud to say I am a student of Chiao Hsin Chinese Language School.