BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
FORM 6 students and staff of Mbokona Community High School took part in a Mandarin awareness activity conducted by SINU’s Mandarin teacher from Taiwan, Ms Kuei-Mi Li, on April 20.
They were treated to a lesson of Mandarin tones and basic phrases and a presentation on different traditions, cultures and how languages interact in different countries.
A session where students answered questions correctly and awarded with gifts was also part of the activity.
According to Ms Li, students really enjoyed the activity and students on the other hand expressed the same with one student suggesting that the Mandarin language be included in the Solomon Islands syllabus so that every child in school can have the opportunity to learn it.
Li who has a linguistic and teaching background explained that she wanted to share her passion for learning new languages and discovering different cultures with the students through the activity and noted that by learning a language students can go beyond their borders.
“Learning a new language means discovering a new culture, it will widen our horizons and enrich our life. I want to open these young Solomon Islanders’ eyes and minds and let them know that their world doesn’t necessarily have to be limited in where they live because they can have more options in life,” she said.
Li also spoke of how impressed she was seeing one of her students, Drumond Theomae teaching the students Mandarin tones and basic phrases since he only began learning the language two months ago.
She said that the awareness activity also made her realize that people do not come to her Mandarin classes not because they are not interested but because they don’t know what it is, how interesting it can be and that it is offered in the country.
Li furthered that she is considering carrying out the activity in other schools and provinces.
“I think it’s important for me to continue the touring, even to the provinces so that people will gain awareness of this opportunity to learn a new language and culture,” she said.