Tong, Chinese Academy Language Director

Learning the language helps students bridge their understanding of American and Chinese culture, and their understanding of international and global studies.

“The students who come to The Academy are committed to learn, and they are so passionate for learning. And they love to learn about the Chinese culture and they love to share. Students' growth on campus definitely includes their personal and academic growth.

“We learned how students did not know each other in the very beginning, but later they became brothers and sisters, because they study and live together for four weeks. And also, in terms of academic growth, the students spoke in the target language at all time doing their language classes and their cultural exploration classes.

“There were many activities that went on in the past few weeks, including Chinese folk dance, Chinese pop music, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese brush painting. And the most popular activity, I would say, was the Chinese tai chi performance, led by our teacher, Mrs. Chang.

“This activity not only attracted our students, but also attracted other students from other academies, and also teachers, and our Residential Life director. It's the definition and the reflection of immersion and sharing. And I consider this tai chi performance as our very special activity this summer.

“The special experience that happens in the Academy include students' exposure to the authentic culture. And students experience using the language, and speak and live in the language, during the four weeks, which allows students to experience the real-world communication skills. And that is something I consider as special about the Academy.

“Learning the language will help them to bridge their understanding of American and Chinese culture, and their understanding of international and global studies. So I consider learning Chinese as a second language, and also other languages, as something very important for our students in their education.”