Chinese Classes Create Cultural Exchange

On the last day of the inaugural semester of the Learn Chinese for Free program Tim He, a staff member from Cornerstone Education, taught participants how to paint Guo Hua using traditional Chinese brush and ink. Each person learned how to hold a brush and use specific strokes, and soon the class began painting bamboo and gold fish masterpieces.

The Learn Chinese for Free program from Oct. 14 through Dec. 9, facilitating cultural exchange in our neighborhood. International students of Cornerstone Education from Morgan Park Academy and St. Rita of Cascia High Schools, offered their time every Friday, assisting the community in learning Mandarin Chinese and culture. Classes were held in the BAPA Community Room. Each student-tutor was paired with a member of the community, ranging from age 4 to 71, for one on one tutoring in Chinese phrases, how to write Chinese characters, and how come up with names in Chinese. Many of the participants shared their thoughts and experiences about Chinese culture with the Cornerstone students.

When the semester came to a close, participants were asked their favorite part about the program. All five of the sisters in the Harder family said that they “loved the drawing they did on the last day and had fun learning about the Chinese language.” Carrie Channell said her favorite part of the program was “working and talking with the Cornerstone students.” She said that they were “kind, helpful, and that they made the learning a fun process.”

Not only was this a learning experience for the community, but for the Cornerstone students as well. With the program demanding so much of them, that they were able to connect with the participants and provide them with the best experience possible is remarkable.  Due to popular demand, Learn Chinese for Free will be back for spring semester classes.

The student-tutors were Grace Lei, Maxine Zhou, Chelsea Chai, Adam Wu, William Zhang, Will Wei, Connor Hu, Murphy Chen, Jason Chen, Shane Liu, Hyuna Wei, Frederick Wang, Daniel Wang, Bill Wang and Jason Luo.  Cornerstone staff were Tim He and Joshua Flores.

For more information or to inquire about hosting an international student in your home, contact Phoebe Mei, csdl-project@hotmail.com .

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