“中文游乐园-Chinese Learning Playground” is a Mandarin Chinese study group for school-age children. This program is led by volunteer native-Chinese-speaking parents, and teaches Chinese through an immersive setting to two tiers of learners — Advanced and Junior. The Advanced group is suitable for students with several years of Chinese learning experience. This year’s sessions follow an adaptation of the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West, to reinforce and expand a learner’s vocabulary and communication skills. The Junior group hosts lower elementary kids, teaching the language through reading folk rhymes and simple stories in Chinese, as well as memorizing and writing Chinese characters. The sessions sometimes incorporate games, crafts, and puzzles to keep the learning experience fun and engaging.
中文游乐园-Chinese learning playground is currently organized by four volunteer parents:
- Xiaoqing Zhu, a research scientist working on video coding and streaming, whose favorite activity is reciting and chatting about Chinese poetry along with her daughter.
- Wendy You, a college finance professor, who finds it more challenging to teach her two daughters than to teach a college class.
- Nan Jiang, a Ph.D. from UT Austin and the Data Science Practice Lead at her firm, has always been passionate about helping people, especially her American-born kids, to understand and appreciate the rich Chinese culture and history, including its difficult-to-learn but fascinating language.
- Qiong Zeng, a data scientist on mobile games and automobiles, has two daughters and enjoys teaching kids Chinese and Chinese cultures.