Students in Yutong Chen's 8th grade Mandarin class put their language skills to the test during a field trip to Manhattan’s Chinatown. While there, Calhouners were tasked with interacting with native Mandarin speakers. Most of the students will be traveling to China this summer, and Yutong used the day trip as an opportunity to introduce the class to various aspects of the culture.“The goal was to give students the chance to apply their language knowledge and ability, and gain a first-hand experience with and a better appreciation of Chinese culture,” says Yutong.
Eighth graders agree that their experience exploring Chinatown paid off. While the task of striking up conversations was intimidating, it gave students more confidence in their Mandarin. As Brooks N. reflects, "At first I was nervous, but once I started talking I felt comfortable and knew what to say. People were definitely surprised that I spoke Mandarin." Jackson S. agrees, saying, “It’s just a matter of saying hello, and the people seemed impressed with how I spoke!” Both students will be attending the trip this summer and feel that their trip to Chinatown prepared them well. “It’s going to be an amazing experience,” says Brooks, “and I think this field trip was a good starting point because we had the chance to have conversations with people and practice with them.”
Continue reading for a full recap of their eventful day.
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