The Mandarin Chinese classes were held as part of an outreach program organized by the Association of St Kitts and Nevis Nationals in Taiwan.
In an interview with MyVueNews.com, Association President Rolhensha Henry explained that the group was looking at ways to “give back” this summer, and after some discussions, it was decided to teach Mandarin Chinese to the campers. She explained that Mandarin Chinese is the world’s most spoken language and having some basic knowledge of the language would be an asset for people from St Kitts and Nevis visiting Taiwan.
“Not many people know that Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language because in our country we are more accustomed to Spanish and French,” Henry said, adding, “Introducing children to this language at such a young age gives them a unique opportunity to broaden their horizons as young scholars and leaders of tomorrow.”
She said that many of the students in Taiwan were hesitant about travelling so far away from home to study, but to this date she is yet to hear of any regrets about studying in the Asian country.
“We understand that it is all about exposure. We believe that sharing our experiences of studying abroad with young people would make them more open to pursuing similar academic opportunities.” said President Henry.
The students were taught basic Mandarin Chinese words such as ‘ni hao’ meaning hello, ‘zao an’ which means good morning, ‘bu hao yi si’ which is excuse and also how to count.
Henry said, “At the end of our final session, as we recapped the vocabulary, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of Chinese the participants retained. And throughout the sessions, as they engaged with our members, they asked lots of questions about our life in Taiwan.”
She said the group was able to clear up misconceptions and share the many new and enriching experiences they’ve had abroad. “Overall it was a pleasure facilitating the sessions, and we do believe the participants had fun as well,” President Henry commented.
There are approximately 45 St. Kitts & Nevis nationals living n Taiwan, and they will be joined by twelve new students who have recently been awarded scholarships for 2016.