A new club has been formed as two Chinese American students teach Mandarin to their peers and the first thing students learn to say is Ni Hao or hello in Mandarin.
Jonathan and Joanna Liu are bilingual sixth grade twins at Joplin East Middle School. They will teach anyone who wants to learn Mandarin, and have officially formed the Chinese Club at school. Through the club, they are teaching 10 of their peers to speak their family’s language.
“We want people to learn a second language to impress their parents or teach other people,” Jonathan said.
Earlier this semester, the twins decided to follow the interest some of their friends had in understanding Mandarin, and started the club. Students had overheard the twins talk to each other in Taiwanese, and were intrigued. They approached Principal Bud Sexson, who explained that any club needed a faculty sponsor and at least five participating members.
There was no problem finding classmates to belong to the club, but finding a teacher who could be a sponsor was another matter. Principal Sexson agreed to be their sponsor and learn Chinese along with the students.