This year, instead of a pen-and-paper exam, many students in the high school Modern World Language Department used their language, research, and technology skills to create multimedia projects.
In my Mandarin 2 class, students chose research topics that Mandarin speakers talk about in their communities around the world. Students asked questions such as: how does modern music influence today’s Mandarin-speaking youth? How can businesses encourage economic growth while also protecting the environment? How equal are men and women in the workplace? What do Mandarin speakers around the world think about the appeal and authenticity of various Chinese cuisines?
Students researched their topics using a variety of texts in Mandarin and other languages. Through their research, they took special care to explore diverse opinions, discussions, and debates. To present their findings, each student created an advertisement, a dialogue, and a vlog post about their topic. Many students played a variety of roles in their projects, such as journalists, celebrities, researchers, politicians, and economists.
I was especially impressed to see students demonstrate such a high level of creativity, initiative, and thoughtfulness in their work. The tech tools available to students at SSIS have opened up a whole world of opportunities for students to express themselves as thoughtful and articulate Mandarin speakers.
A sampling of the projects can be seen here.