- Published on Tuesday, 25 September 2007 20:32
- Written by Town Crier Report
In the past, St. Francis classes have reflected an increasing interest in global issues. In the last few years, topical classes have appeared on the roster, including "Case Studies in Modern Africa and Asia," "The Arab World and the West," "Case Studies in Human Rights" and "Contemporary World Problems."
Mandarin is the latest in a list of classes developed to meet the needs of a global society.
Tennant and Dean of Students Margaret Miller met with the principal and school representatives from Changzhou Senior Middle School to sign an agreement to become "Sister Schools." Changzhou is roughly the same size as St. Francis, serving grades 10, 11 and 12. St. Francis students will travel to Shanghai in March, and an estimated 20 students from Shanghai will stay with St. Francis families for five days next May.
Judy Yu, a 25-year teacher, will teach one section of Mandarin this year. Each year thereafter, a level will be added. By fall 2010, St. Francis will offer a 4-year Mandarin program.
Yu was born, raised and educated in Taiwan. While in Taiwan, she worked as an educator as well as a news anchor and talk show host for the Broadcasting Corporation of China Station. She moved to the United States in 1984 and has taught at several schools in the Bay Area, including Santa Clara University and West Valley College. She earned her second master's degree in 2005 at San Francisco State University in Chinese literature from the Chinese Program of Foreign Language and Literature Department. She is also an AP Chinese Language OPI Tester for the College Board.
"As China continues to emerge as a world power, we have a responsibility to make sure our students appreciate China's cultural and artistic relevance as well as its role in the global economy," Tennant said. "Language is the foundation for that kind of understanding."