Learning Mandarin Through Gymnastics: New ASP Class Hosts Cultural Exchange
Learning Mandarin Through Gymnastics: New ASP Class Hosts Cultural Exchange

A popular After School Program class, which uses gymnastics to help children learn Mandarin, opened its doors to students from a school run by the Chinese Consulate.

Just as flexible classrooms can have a significant impact on learning for students, so too can body movement and games, even if it seems unconnected to the goal at hand. Children in a popular After School Program (ASP) specialty class can be found rolling, jumping and stretching while also learning Mandarin. The Mandarin Through Movement course gives Lower Form students a fun and effective way to practice their language skills while participating in some of their favorite activities.

To wrap-up the first 12-week session, ASP invited 20 students from the Sunshine School, which is run by the Chinese Consulate and attended by children of Chinese diplomats, to join the class for a cultural exchange. Mandarin teacher Yuhong Yao led both groups in a warm-up routine followed by a series of cartwheels, handstands, tumbles and rolls.

As the master of ceremonies, Stuart Hall freshman Evangelos Kounalakis impressed parents in the audience by speaking English and Mandarin, while other high school students helped support the event.   

Last spring, a group of students and faculty from Convent & Stuart Hall had a rare chance to meet the Consul General of China, Luo Liquan, in his offices in San Francisco.

As a gift to the school, the Chinese Consulate will sponsor a special Lunar New Year performance by a professional dance troupe from China in Syufy Theatre on February 26.

Mandarin Through Movement will be offered again this spring. ASP registration opens January 24 and speciality classes start February 5.