Ross Lower School parents are getting a peek into the Mandarin studies that their children engage in on a regular basis. Interactive information sessions involving their students and Mandarin teacher Kera Shen are helping parents become more comfortable with a language that most have had little exposure to. The sessions kicked off on January 13 with kindergarten students and families.
Head of Lower School Jeanette Tyndall said the experiences were planned because, while many parents may be familiar with other languages such as Spanish or French, Mandarin can be somewhat of a mystery. In the sessions, Kera and the students will involve the parents in games and exercises to demonstrate their knowledge of the language and share the learning experience.
Kindergarten parents were impressed with the teaching practices and the students’ language competence and joyful participation in the activities. The class is learning the basics such as numbers and colors, and Kera uses fun, motivating methods such as games to spot colors and build vocabulary words, songs, flashcards and videos on the Smart Board. Using full immersion language teaching techniques, Kera speaks only in Mandarin for the duration of the class, and it was great for everyone to see the students responding to her conversation.
Parents were also interested to hear how Ross helps children transferring in from other schools catch up to their classmates in Mandarin. Kera explained that she groups the students according to their level of proficiency, and students may work on different projects.
"I am delighted that we have these opportunities to involve parents in our class,” Kera said. “The students are excited as well to show their parents and special guests what they have been learning!"
Additional Mandarin informational gatherings for parents will be held every Wednesday from 8:15–8:45am in the grade-level classrooms; see schedule below.
January 20: 1st/2nd grade combined (in the 1st grade classroom) January 27: 3rd grade February 10: 4th grade February 17: 5th grade February 24: 6th grade (6A) March 2: 6th grade (6B)