During one of Lower School's daily foreign language lessons, our first-graders had the opportunity to learn how to use chopsticks and practiced traditional papercutting with their Mandarin teacher, Mrs. Hong.
Chopsticks are eating utensils that were invented and used in China for thousands of years that Chinese communities consume all food with and paper-cutting is one of the oldest and the most popular and important types of Chinese folk art, often used to decorate doors and windows and used during festivals like Spring Festival," Mrs. Hong said. "The first-grade students enjoyed exploring the world around them. Through these activities, they learned more about Chinese culture and customs, and became more open-minded by gaining knowledge of global perspectives and increasing their creative thinking."
Lausanne's Lower School offers daily foreign language lessons of Mandarin and Spanish to help expose students to other cultures and globalization by making connections and communicating at an early age.
Lower School Mandarin classes include basic vocabulary, popular children’s songs, speaking/conversation exercises, and other activities to enable the students to build a solid foundation in speaking, reading and writing in Mandarin. By the time they reach fourth grade, students can carry short day-to-day conversations, read basic Mandarin, construct short sentences and write short journals.
"We know that at this age they are most receptive to learning a foreign language and research shows that the earlier they start learning it, the faster students can pick up on it," Head of Lower School Kara Barbour said. "About 10 years ago, I sat in on one of the Mandarin classes to see what I could pick up on and two days later when I went back the students already knew how to count to ten in Mandarin."