GS Adds Third-Year Chinese Language Course
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
George School’s Language Department begins the 2009-10 academic year with a new course offering, Chinese 3, taught by award-winning scholar, poet, and teacher Ning Yuan Yu. The course allows Chinese language students to begin applying their reading and writing skills in analytical and creative ways, and to learn about Chinese history and cultures. Established two years ago as a result of the school’s recent, five-year curriculum review, George School’s Chinese curriculum now encompasses four courses taught by Ning.
“The Language Department set a goal some time ago of adding a non-Western language to its curriculum,” said Dean of Faculty and Director of Studies Scott Spence. “Given the increasing significance of China in our lives and world affairs, Mandarin Chinese seemed like an appropriate choice. Finding Chinese teachers is a challenge for many schools these days, and we are blessed to have such an experienced and talented teacher in Ning Yuan Yu.”
The author of five books and two CD-ROMs, Ning has over fifteen years of experience teaching Chinese language and culture. His book Chinese Children’s Folk Songs received the “Excellent Book Award” from China’s Department of Education and is used as a textbook in both China and the United States. His Chinese curricula and textbooks are published in China by Jieli Publishing House.
George School instituted Chinese 1, a beginning course, for the 2007-08 year. Its sequel, Chinese 2, began in 2008-09. The same year, George School introduced International Baccalaureate (IB) Chinese Literature and Composition, an advanced course designed for students of native competency. International students from approximately thirty countries, including China and Taiwan, typically account for 15 percent of George School’s enrollment; therefore, many students come to George School as native Mandarin speakers and can take advantage of the advanced class. The school plans to add Chinese 4 in 2010-11.
George School’s curriculum is structured so that most students reach at least third-year proficiency in a language other than English. In addition to the four current courses in Chinese, the Language Department offers first- through sixth-year courses in French and Spanish, and first- through fifth-year courses in Latin. The French, Spanish, and Latin curricula include Advanced Placement and IB options.