Area students entering grade 1-5 will have an opportunity to learn basic Mandarin Chinese.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Area students entering grades 1-5 will have an opportunity to learn basic Mandarin Chinese at The Swain School, 1100 S. 24th St., Allentown, in two summer classes. “Learn Chinese I” will be offered the week of July 18-22, from 9 a.m.-noon. A follow-up session, “Learn Chinese II” will be held the week of Aug. 1-5, also from 9 a.m.-noon. Students may register for the first session only, or both. The classes are taught by Bei Wang, a Lower Macungie resident who was born in China’s largest city, Shanghai. She is one of the area’s few teachers of Mandarin. Last school year she taught about Chinese culture to Swain’s fifth grade social studies classes and also initiated a language course for the school’s seventh graders. Mandarin Chinese is the…
Mandarin at Swain is a required, non-credit, six-week exploratory course designed to give students basic conversational skills.
“Ni hao!” The Mandarin greeting, “How do you do?” is likely to be overheard in the corridors of The Swain School in Salisbury Township these days. Since April, the school’s 25 seventh graders are learning the basics of the most widely spoken Chinese dialect. Mandarin is the language of nearly 1 billion people. Taught by Bei Wang of Lower Macungie Township, the lessons add a melodic, exotic cadence to the classroom. Mandarin is a tonal language: the same word spoken with a rising or falling voice will give it a different meaning, as the way, in English, a rising or falling voice can turn a statement into a question. (Example: It’s raining. It’s raining?) In a recent Mandarin class, Wang held up pieces of brightly colored fruit with one hand…