School implements new mandarin class

By adding a new Mandarin class, Souderton is hoping to better provide students with a greater international future. This is being implemented for the next school year.

Preparing students for a growing and greater interconnected world, and to prepare students for a changing global climate, administration is implementing a new mandarin class next year.
According to Language Coordinator Anne Fitch, the language department is always trying to respond to the need for diversity in languages.
“Mandarin is now the hot language, it’s one that is recognized by Souderton as one that could be significant in the economic sector,” Fitch said.
Fitch says that Mandarin will be a key asset because students may have to work with people from different countries.
“We think Mandarin is going to be a pretty key asset that a student can have moving forward in his or her studies and careers,” Fitch said.
According to Mandarin teacher Jane Wong, educators have the responsibility to prepare younger generations to live and work in an increasingly interconnected world.
“China is increasing influence in the world, so there is a need and demand from the society to provide students the opportunity to learn the language and culture,” Wong said.
Wong says that implementing Mandarin into the curriculum is “in line with the school’s policies and missions.”
“It just makes sense to add it to the curriculum to give students more choices,” Wong said.
According to Fitch, when adding Mandarin to the schedule, there were many obstacles to overcome.
“The first challenge was finding a teacher. The second challenge is spreading the word that we have this opportunity. The third challenge will be enrollment,” Fitch said.
According to Fitch, administration has been considering implementing Mandarin for a number of years because of how the global climate is changing.
“The world continues to always evolve in every single aspect,” Fitch said. “So back in the day Russian was really important because of the cold war, so there was one need then.”
According to Fitch, the language department is responsible for keeping up with global needs.
“Language is only reflecting current immediate regional and global needs,” Fitch said.
According to fitch she is excited that the school is offering this opportunity because it fits into the pathway program by giving kids real world background.
“We think it’s going to be really utilitarian for you to have a background in it,” Fitch said.
According to Wong, learning a language like Mandarin is a unique and special opportunity.
“China has 5,000 years of history. It’s one of the oldest civilizations in the world, so if you know chinese, you get the chance to learn about Chinese culture and history,” Wong said.
Wong also says that learning Mandarin opens up a whole new world to students.
“You have access to a whole new world,” Wong said, “If you know Chinese you can clear the language barrier.”
“When I speak English, I can enjoy those Hollywood movies,” Wong said. Imagine if you didn’t know English, then that world is not open to you, but if you know the language, that world is open to you.”