Archer students studying Chinese took a trip to Heritage Manor, a nursing home in Monterey Park, to immerse themselves in Californian Chinese culture. Heritage Manor has a unique Chinese Cultural Program for their many Chinese residents.
The day started at a boba and food stand near the nursing home. The girls ordered their drinks in Chinese to pick up later. They then made their trek down the street to the Heritage Manor Nursing Home.
While at the nursing home, the girls introduced themselves to the seniors and asked about their lives in Chinese. According to Ms. Gosselin, even though some of the residents could not understand or hear some of the students, it was good speaking practice for the girls, and it was nice for the seniors to talk to young people interested in Chinese culture.
When asked about her experience, Hannah Levy ’16 said, “I think one of the main takeaways from this experience is in times when communication is difficult, a smile and your body language goes really far.”
All three of the classes came up with activities to do with the seniors. Each class started out with a song. The Chinese 3 class began with the song “对不起我的中文不好,” or in English, “Sorry My Chinese Isn’t Very Good.”
Each student group then introduced and carried out their activities. The first group played Pictionary with the seniors, and the second group performed charades.
Up next was the Chinese 4 class, who sang “你听得到,” which in English is, “You Hear.” Then came the Chinese Senior Seminar class who sang a medley of Chinese pop songs.
After performing their song medley, the Chinese Senior Seminar class passed out colorful paper, glue, markers, and paper hearts to make Valentine’s Day cards with the senior citizens.
Teacher Pei-Ying Gosselin commented, “When I see the girls trying to help the seniors and the smiles on the seniors’ faces, that is the most touching moment I will never forget.”
According to Ms. Gosselin, everyone involved enjoyed this activity, it turned out to be a huge success and the students exchanged cards with the residents. “It was still very cool to be able to communicate with the seniors,” Hannah Goldstone ’16 comments, “even with the existing language barrier.”
After saying goodbye to all the seniors and thanking Heritage Manor for inviting them to visit, the students walked to the restaurant to practice ordering food in Chinese.
Speaking the language has become a larger part of the curriculum during this semester and it is experiences like these that help the students grow as Chinese speakers. Overall, the field trip was a success and made a lasting impression on the students of the Chinese class.