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Owensboro/Evansville Chapter Page

Teaching Chinese/American Children
One of the things that make the Owensboro/Evansville Chapter a success is the efforts of our members to teach the Chinese American children about their heritage.
To meet the needs of Chinese children adopted by local American families in Owensboro, Kentucky, a Chinese Saturday class started on July 8, 2000. It has been held at First Presbyterian Church every other Saturday from 11:00am to 12:00 noon for an hour.

When it was first established, Winny Lin, president of Owensboro/Evansville chapter of USCPFA, called around and started with 12 students that included the adopted Chinese girls and American children in the church congregation who would study Chinese as a second language. She also asked church youth to serve as helpers and mentors since these children were as young as 2 years old.

Through the past two years, some children left but more have joined. Now the class has average 25 to 30 students. There were still these adopted Chinese girls, but children from local Chinese immigrants, American children and adults who are interested in Chinese language and culture, and couples who are getting ready to adopt all came and joined for an hour of fun activities every other Saturday. Not only that, we have become an extended family that have had many happy social events together such as picnic, Christmas party, baby shower, Moon Festival, Chinese New Year celebration, Multi-cultural Festival, Charity Ball etc.

People came from not only Owensboro, KY, but also from Rockport, Indiana. Now we have also helped Families Adopted Children from Everywhere start their Saturday Chinese class in Evansville, Indiana. Families from Everywhere

Winny Lin, teacher of the class, has been teaching at Tamarack Elementary School of Daviess County Public Schools for 28 years. Her own children have also studied Suzuki violin. Now she has applied what she learned in teaching Chinese language and culture to her class. She made cassette tapes for each student, so they can listen to the tape at night, in the car, when they have nothing to distract them. Parents are encouraged to stay with their children during class since the youngest is only a little over one year old. The class is multi-aged from 1 to adults. Therefore, Mrs. Lin tries to differentiate requirements for different groups. The younger kids will emphasize the language part, while the older students learn more handwriting.

Right now, the class is following Biao Zhun Zhong Wen Book I and using pinyin.

Practice practice on conversational Chinese phrases, such as

How are you?

How old are you?

What is your name?

My name is _______.

What is this?

The following is a sample lesson plan:

11:00am

1. qi li, jin li, and zuo xia(That is Chinese custom to have students stand up, bow to the teacher, and then sit down.)

2. Mrs. Lin calls the roll, everybody counts in Chinese how many students present. When students hear their name, they practice saying present in Chinese.

3. Five minutes of practice on conversational Chinese phrases,

4. Chinese songs or games.

5. Lesson I Read the lesson many times, practice sentence pattern, apply in conversation with a partner.

6. Writing Practice writing characters.

7. culture We talked about the origin of Dragon Boat Festival , ate tzungtzu, a special kind of sticky rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves, did The Story of White Snake skit, watched a video of dragon boat race.

In the last few minutes of class time, we always have parents bring snack and drink for the students. On June 1, 2002, a parent brought Chinese noodles and ice cream cake for her son s birthday, so everybody enjoyed a delicious lunch and dessert. Picture I shows Mrs. Lin teaches the class, and picture 2 indicates that students were enjoying their food. Food always brings people together and makes us happy!

8. The teacher dismisses the class. Everybody stands up, bows, and says, good-by in Chinese.

After class, it is social time for the students and parents. Children play together, while the parents connect, exchange ideas, or just talk. This lasts about an hour before the last ones leave.

Girls in Saturday Chinese class have formed a performing group called"Winny's Wonders". They performed "Chinese Umbrella Dance" at the Charity Ball on April 20, 2002 and charmed hundreds of guests at the old gallery of the Art Museum in Evansville, Indiana. These girls are students in Saturday Chinese class, ages range 3 years old to 8 years old. Some of them are adopted by Americanfamilies in Owensboro, KY, Evansville or Newburgh, Indiana, and some of them are children who are learning Chinese as a second language Girls in the class

You can also look at www.firstpresbyterianowensboro.com for Multi-cultural Festival. We have been very active in the last few years.

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Copyright 2011 USCPFA, This Page Last Updated: February 21, 2011