Bellmore-Merrick Expands World Languages Department

011317_main_world_language.jpg

The district’s Department of World Languages expanded its offerings for the 2016-17 school year with the addition of Mandarin Chinese.

“The response to the program was positive, and classes are now well under way at both Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle schools,” said World Languages Chairperson Rosa Kaplan.

 At the start of the year, seventh-grade students began studying the Chinese language and culture with their teacher, Helen Han.

Through a storytelling approach, students were quickly immersed in the language, as Ms. Han believes in teaching her entire lesson in Mandarin.
“It did not take long for students to begin speaking in Mandarin and they are already reading and writing simplified Chinese characters and Pinyin,” said Renée Fallon, a world languages chairperson.

The students are also learning about Chinese culture. Han incorporates authentic materials, videos, music and her own experience involving daily life in China. Currently there are 35 students enrolled in the program, including 15 at Grand Avenue Middle School and 20 at Merrick Avenue Middle School.