These American students, ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade, are learning all subjects, including math, science, and culture, in Mandarin Chinese, and speaking fluently by the time they graduate.
Minneapolis’ Chinese-language immersion charter school, Yinghua Academy, hosted Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang and his delegation on Monday. Qin tested his skills by teaching an hour-long Mandarin lesson, focusing on the Chinese characters that make up the word 和 “peace”.
He illustrated how musical instruments work together in harmony in an orchestra to create beautiful harmonies when pictorially teaching the character of 和 “peace”. Since Chinese is spoken by 1/5 of the world’s population, Susan Berg , CEO and Executive Director of Yinghua said Yinghua graduates will be well prepared to join the global community.
An assembly was held for the 400 academy students in the gymnasium. When a student asked Ambassador Qin what his childhood dream was, he said his childhood dream was to have enough to eat and not be hungry, because China was still a poor country. when he was born in 1966.
Qin said that now that everyone is fed in China where poverty has been eliminated, today’s Chinese children, like Americans, are all chasing their own dreams like becoming a scientist or an astronaut.
Qin said his dream as a diplomat is to boost communication and maintain world peace so that all children can be nurtured so they can have other important dreams to pursue and achieve. When asked if he had any Chinese stories to share, Qin talked about the ancient tales of Mulan, and how one day, when Yinghua students perfect their Mandarin, they can understand the splendor of the language in which Mulan was written.
To Qin’s surprise, the students in the audience started reciting beautiful segments of the Mulan text for him.
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