Chinese Language and Culture Program
In the Fargo-Moorhead area, the Chinese community has place an increased importance on Chinese education for the next generations. Founded in 1999, Starlight Chinese School is the only regular weekend Chinese school in the region. Classes use the “中文”, “双双中文”, “美洲华语” textbooks as well as self-created materials. The teaching objectives of the school are to enable students to master listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in Chinese. Chinese school students are primarily Chinese children as well as others of Chinese heritage. The school is a member of the National Chinese School Association.
At present, the school has classes at seven different levels. Over the past 18 years, the school has provided good opportunities and high-quality courses for students to learn their mother tongue.
Although Chinese families in the region are putting greater emphases on Chinese education, most children’s Chinese proficiency is limited to listening at home and some simple everyday expressions. Most have not received any systematic study of the Chinese language. The hope is through rigorous efforts in Chinese education, children will become more aware of the importance of learning Chinese as well as China’s profound cultural and its long history.
In order the foster enthusiasm and motivation for learning Chinese, Chinese children should apply what they have learned to help local non-native Chinese learners. By volunteering at Chinese language summer camps, it is possible for students to apply what they have learned as well as improve their communication skills. It is also worth considering establishing Chinese Language Clubs under the guidance of volunteers from UCAFM and older Chinese school students to help all local people willing to learn the Chinese language or interested in Chinese culture.
With the support of UCAFM and help from volunteers, we hope to achieve our goal of quality Chinese language education of our children.