Participants in this year’s Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium could take a 30-minute crash course in the Mandarin Chinese language.
Ni hao! Ni hao ma?
(Hello! How are you?)
Participants in this year’s Faith, Reason and World Affairs Symposium, “China Rising: A New Global Order?,” not only had conversations about China, but they also could attend a variety of sessions including an opportunity to converse in Mandarin Chinese during a 30-minute crash course in the language.
“With over one billion people speaking Mandarin, the interest in learning this language continues to increase,” says Dr. Cassandra Glynn, director of the Master of Education in World Language Instruction program.
After a brief introduction in English, Joy Donovan ’16, James Stein ’16, Marina Sandoval ’16 and Xao Vang ’15 taught the half-hour class completely in Mandarin. Through role play, word repetition and imagery use, novices to the language soon understood words and phrases and even conversed with one another in Mandarin.
Wo hen hao. Ni ne?
(I’m good. And you?)
The short lesson demonstrated the effectiveness of experiential language learning. The instructors used techniques similar to those used at Concordia Language Villages, where children and adults experience language and culture through full immersion.
The Villages' 15 world language programs (including Mandarin Chinese) attract 11,000 participants annually from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.