January 26, 2017
Leanne, Y10, Gubei Campus
I have lived in China for around 10 years now, and I find it to be an incredible experience. Learning Chinese was easy for me because I was surrounded in a Chinese-speaking environment where I was encouraged to use Chinese to communicate with the people around me. Without this language, I wouldn’t have been able to explore Shanghai as easily I am now able. The fact is, I am able to communicate with everyone here, allowing me to explore the intricacies of this very unique culture, one that is inseparable from a country that is on track to be the largest economy in the world.
Learning Chinese has many benefits, but it also requires a lot of good instruction, and diligence to learn. I enjoy exploring and learning new characters and writing, but when I am caught in a difficulty, I always have the resources of teachers and other students to help me. The school is strong in this way because of the bilingual school atmosphere. Occasionally, there are some difficult or complicated elements to understand, but help is never far if you need it at YCIS. At times, Chinese can be easy with basic concepts that are simple to understand. If you see an unfamiliar French or German word, you can easily sound it out and pronounce it, and later ask the definition of the word. For Chinese, however, you need to understand the principles of pinyin to pronounce words, and you must possess a certain diligence in memorizing characters to attach pronunciation to the written script. It is also cool to learn to the underlying history for the pen strokes that make up individual characters.
Being able to learn and speak Chinese opens more than 1 billion doors of communication. Not only socially, but when I get older, it will inevitably help me in my career prospects since China will continue to position itself as a major world economic power.